From Coota to Texas

Back in 2015, when Simon Sutherland decided to start a small business in his back shed, in the town of Cootamundra in NSW, he could not have imagined that in 2022, his company would be serving customers all around the world.

NXT Journey launched its first product, a work bag specifically designed for truck drivers, in November 2015. Over the following seven years, the original ‘Truckie Bag’ has evolved through 10 versions. Continuous improvement has always been the company’s core value.

“Our aim when we started was to deliver a work bag for truck drivers that would stand up to long weeks out on the road – a bag that you could trust. We never envisaged that one day our bags would be used by some of the largest companies in Australia,” Sutherland explained.

NXT Journey has expanded its range of bags for those in the transport industry, with the introduction of Safety Bags in 2018. The safety range has particularly become popular in the rail industry, with companies such as Aurizon, Pacific National and Southern Shorthaul Railroad being great supporters.

NXT Journey has developed into a leading bag supplier for the trucking and rail industry in Australia.

Sutherland says that NXT Journey wants to stay true to where it all started. “Our focus has always been transport, and we will continue to strive to get better with our designs and manufacturing processes,” he said.

The next chapter in the NXT Journey story is focused on the USA. 

Although the company’s American plans were initially delayed due to Covid travel restrictions, 2022 has enabled the company to travel over there twice. “We exhibited at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2022, and then did a follow-up trip to Texas in July,” added Sutherland.

In November, he’ll be travelling back to Dallas, Texas, to exhibit at the Women in Trucking  Accelerate Conference. To make the trip that little bit more interesting, this time Sutherland is travelling with one of Australia’s well-known truckies, Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall, who many would recognise from his regular appearances on popular television show Outback Truckers.

“I met Yogi at the Brisbane Truck Show in 2017 and we have developed a great friendship over the following years,” Sutherland explained. “Yogi was supposed to go to MATS with us in March, but things didn’t fall into place. When the Dallas trip came up, he locked it in.”

The Accelerate Conference brings together many of the largest trucking supply companies in the USA. “We are very excited to be able to attend such an event, especially considering we will be the first Australian company to do so,” said Sutherland.

NXT Journey’s core business has developed to make it one of the leading bag suppliers for the trucking and rail industry in Australia. 

“Many companies purchase our bags with their logo embossed. They give them to employees, clients, and other business stakeholders,” Sutherland added.  

“We want to see a shift away from gifts that are just ‘throw away items’ that people don’t think twice about. We have all received cheap, poor-quality items at conferences or tradeshows. These things usually end up gathering dust in people’s wardrobes, or worse, in landfill.

“When someone receives a NXT Journey bag, they can see straight away that quality and thought has gone into the design. We want the recipient of a NXT Journey bag to get the WOW factor.”

The company has come a long way since being launched from the back of a shed.

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