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Recent investments in transportation and logistics facilities include CN Rail’s $200M Calgary Logistics Park which includes two million square feet of distribution and warehouse space. DHL Express nearly tripled the size of its operation at YYC Calgary International Airport to capitalize on the potential they see in international express volumes to and from Alberta. Home Depot opened a more than one million square foot distribution centre near the Canadian Pacific Railway’s intermodal terminal.
The level of investment in distribution and warehouse facilities has been higher in the Calgary region than any other Western Canadian city.
With one of Canada’s busiest airports, major highways north-south and east-west, two of North America’s Class 1 railroads, and efficient access to all ocean ports, Calgary effectively serves global markets.
YYC Calgary International Airport is one of Canada’s best-connected airports, providing flights to 84 non-stops destinations and welcoming more than 17.3 million passengers in 2018. YYC completed a $2 billion expansion in 2016 that includes a new international terminal, the longest runway in Canada and advanced cargo handling facilities.
YYC is the main air cargo gateway for Alberta, handling a volume of more than 146,000 metric tonnes in 2018. With its strategic location offering direct access to major roadways, YYC specializes in receiving, transferring, storing and distributing air, rail and highway cargo – both domestically and internationally. YYC has direct air cargo connections to Europe, UK, Asia, Mexico and beyond.
YYC has 1.29 million square feet of dedicated cargo apron with direct access to warehouse/logistics facilities, in-ground fueling and cargo services including customs.
Distribution companies such as FedEx, Purolator, UPS and DHL have cargo centres at the airport. Calgary is also home to one of Canada’s two major airlines, WestJet Airlines, and acts as a regional hub for the other, Air Canada.
Calgary is home to both Canadian Class I railroads – Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway and CN Rail. Both railroads offer carload and intermodal services, with efficient connectivity through the U.S. and Mexico. On average, rail transit from west coast ports is 48 hours. Nearly three million tonnes of goods were transported to the Calgary area by rail in 2016.
Calgary’s central location in Western Canada, access to national highway systems and proximity to the U.S. border expedites transportation from Calgary throughout North America and into Mexico. Approximately $4,200,000 per day of goods enter Calgary from beyond the region.
Calgary’s favourable tax environment and low operating costs are among the reasons why it has been recognized as one of the most cost effective business environments for distribution operations compared to other regional distribution hubs in Western Canada. Advantages of doing business in Calgary include access to multimodal transportation options, lower taxes, low electricity costs and a competitive labour market.
Within the Calgary region, one in ten jobs, up to 134,000, support the goods movement industry. This includes jobs in warehousing, logistics, wholesale trade and transportation. Maintaining the supply of skilled workers to meet the needs of a growing sector is a priority and supported by an ecosystem of industry stakeholders and educational institutions. More than 100,000 students benefit from the programs offered each year through local post-secondary institutions including the University of Calgary, SAIT and Mount Royal University.
Learn more about Alberta’s supply chain logistics industry workforce strategy.
The City of Calgary has nearly 12,000 hectares of industrial land supply, including over 1,600 hectares of immediate and short-term land supply. The city has three major industrial regions with a network of industrial parks, intermodal facilities and on-airport logistics parks.
The three major industrial sub-markets are in the northeast, south central and southeast. They include 46 individual industrial regions that are in areas with access to rail, road and air transportation.
Leasing rates for industrial space are competitive with major urban markets. Land in the Calgary Region offers ample space for development at transportation nodes along major corridors. To support growth, The City of Calgary is investing $6.5 billion in Calgary’s transportation infrastructure for the period 2018 – 2027.
Calgary has major brokerages that can assist individuals and organizations looking to purchase land and infrastructure. Brokers are aware of the current market conditions, have relationships with key industry players and are well-versed in purchasing land and infrastructure.
Calgary Economic Development partnered with Altus InSite, a provider of national office market data and perspective for Canada’s commercial real estate industry. Altus InSite allows companies to search for industrial, office and retail space in the Calgary Region. Companies can compare available space by office class, total space and leasing district as well as information about leasing.
The City of Calgary, in partnership with Calgary Economic Development, is undertaking a “Goods Movement Strategy” to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support longevity and continue to improve the Calgary Region’s supply chain and transportation ecosystem.
The Goods Movement Strategy will help determine what transportation infrastructure improvements need to be made to help Calgary thrive over the next 30 years. It will also help The City support the goods movement industry and Calgarians through continued improvements to our transportation network. These improvements will help to efficiently move goods to markets in Calgary and beyond.
The strategy will result in a list of actions and transportation infrastructure investments that consider the social and economic impacts on our communities. These will help support the economic development and quality of life in Calgary over the next 30 years. The Goods Movement Strategy will also update and consolidate existing polices and add new ones where appropriate.
As part of the development of this strategy, The City worked with industry stakeholders to identify what currently affects goods movement in Calgary and solicit suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of goods movement around Calgary. The City is currently reviewing recommendations, industry best practices and what other cities are doing to improve goods movement. The City is also inviting the public to share their feedback on goods movement.
For more on the Goods Movement Strategy, click here.