Inland Ports Driving a Boost in Supply Chain Through Industrial Real Estate Expansion

February 12, 2020

Inland Ports Driving a Boost in Supply Chain Through Industrial Real Estate Expansion

In an ever-evolving business landscape, now, more than ever, Canadian companies are called to be more resilient and agile than ever before. As a result of this, many are integrating cross-border expansion into their growth strategies.

 “To accommodate rising global imports, the industry is shifting more to an “inland port” model, driving significant expansion throughout the industrial real estate sector as companies look for strategic locations to support the new distribution patters required for foreign-made goods,” shares Casey Stuart, Vice President of Industrial Sales & Leasing with JLL.  

 While the concept of inland ports isn’t new, where they are located is increasingly critical to international supply chain. Inland ports can impact logistical decisions ranging from shipping routes to warehouse locations, while adding significant advantages to boost your supply chain. The following are key characteristics of an inland port: 

  • Proximity to a large population base  
  • A major connection to seaport via railroad  
  • In many cases, Foreign Trade Zone status and privileges  
  • Available real estate for warehousing and distribution 

A challenge surrounding this increased and immediate need for growth lies in the fact that several of Canada’s major ports face tremendous congestion with the increase of inbound volume of goods manufactured abroad. Projections for the next five to six years indicates some ports will triple containership capacity and freight throughput. 

“The rising demand for inland ports is simple: effectiveness and efficiency. The supply chain is all about obtaining the best total landed cost while meeting business plans. Canada can build on its success in creating inland ports to more efficiently move containerized exports and imports and fuel provincial growth. For example, more transloading activities are being moved to inland ports, such as Edmonton and Calgary. This is a result of domestic container availability and lower landed cost.” says Stuart.

In short, the future of inland ports in Western Canada, and Calgary specifically, is bright, and chances are great their demand will only increase. The supply chain is all about obtaining the best total landed cost while meeting business objectives. And suffice to say, day in, day out, inland ports are proving their worth.

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