Transportation & Logistics

With air, rail and road transportation networks and world-class logistics warehouses, Calgary’s transportation and logistics industry are moving Calgary – and propelling one of the most dynamic economies in North America. 

Providing a variety of integrated logistics solutions, Calgary is the North American hub for the Pacific Northwest by road, rail and air and is able to move products and people in a manner unparalleled elsewhere in the region.

Calgary’s robust transportation and logistics network is a cornerstone of the city’s vitality; outside of its commercial benefits, this network gives city residents and visitors alike the means to reach and enjoy all aspects of life in and around Calgary and Southern Alberta.

Major retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and Costco have selected the Calgary Region as an integral part of their Western distribution strategy. This is partly due to Alberta’s low tax regime, Calgary’s growing economy, its geographic location and well-developed and evolving infrastructure. This powerful combination makes Calgary a major Canadian transportation and logistics hub of the future.

Excellent business environment

Calgary is recognized as one of the most cost-effective places in Western North America to establish a transportation and logistics hub. Perhaps the best evidence of Calgary’s pro-business environment is the high level of investment transportation and logistics firms are making in the Calgary Region. Recent investments include a $100 million Calgary logistics park developed by CN Railroad and the $30 million UPS distribution centre at the Calgary International Airport. In addition, Canada’s highest concentration of head offices per capita offers excellent access to decision-makers, particularly within the energy sector. And for the energy industry, Calgary serves as the staging area for organizations transporting talent and equipment to Fort McMurray.

Human capital

As Alberta’s largest city, Calgary plays a leading role in executing the workforce strategy for Alberta’s transportation and supply chain logistics industry. Annually, over 100,000 students benefit from education programs offered through the University of Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Mount Royal University and several other educational providers.

Maintaining a supply of skilled and available workers to meet the needs of the transportation and logistics sector is a top priority for Calgary. Growth in Calgary’s supply of skilled workers is maintained by an ecosystem of industry stakeholders and educational institutions that have developed an effective strategy to support ongoing growth in this sector.

To learn more about this workforce strategy, read the Government of Alberta’s “A workforce strategy for Alberta’s supply chain logistics industry”.

Transportation and logistics are moving Calgary, and propelling one of the most dynamic economies in North America.

Accessibility & Infrastructure

Serviced by major north-south and east-west highways, two Class 1 railroads, Canada’s third busiest international airport and the nearby Port of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, a market of 50 million people can be reached from Calgary within 24 hours.

Road

Calgary is situated in the prime location at the intersection of the Trans Canada and CANAMEX highway systems. This enables road transportation from Alaska to Mexico, and Vancouver to St. John’s. Calgary is the ideal central location for placing a distribution centre for businesses that depend on rapid distribution of goods to Western Canada and other major North American markets.

Air

Doubling in size and passenger volume over the last 15 years, Calgary is now Canada’s third busiest airport by passenger traffic. Direct and connecting flights from Calgary International Airport (YYC) connect Calgary to practically every destination around the globe within 48 hours. Supporting current demand and future growth the Calgary International Airport is undergoing a $2 billion expansion with a new international concourse scheduled to open in 2015 and 14,000 ft runway, the longest runway in North America, which opened in 2014. Calgary is also home to one of Canada's major airlines – WestJet, one of the world's most profitable airlines.

In addition to the volume of passenger flights, companies such as FedEx, Purolator and UPS have distribution hubs on site at the Calgary International Airport to service the distribution of goods and cargo. The Calgary International Airport is currently working on the second phase of a global logistics centre, which when complete will add an additional 3,000 jobs to the 2,500 employees that already work in the first phase of the centre.

Rail

For companies looking to transport cargo or goods, Calgary-based Canadian Pacific rail provides an alternate shipping method that offers direct access most provinces in Canada, along with a number of American states. Further partnerships with American and Mexican railways allow for companies to ship from Canada to Mexico. For Alberta’s energy industry, Canadian Pacific can transport energy (both conventional and renewable) across North America.

CN Rail also offers options to organizations for shipping and transportation. CN Rail’s extensive network covers Canada and 14 U.S. states, and as their website notes, “Whether you need rail shipping in Canada, intermodal and trucking in the U.S., or are shipping containers overseas, we have a full suite of shipping services to get your goods to your customers. CN Rail is the only Class 1 railroad to cross the continent east-west and north-south – linking the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts”. CN Rail transports everything from coal and consumer products to alternative energy and petroleum products and chemicals. Learn more about CN Rail.

Land & Availability

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 is serviced by three major industrial regions comprised of a network of industrial parks, intermodal facilities and on-airport logistics parks.

The three major industrial sub-markets in Calgary are found in the Northeast, South Central and Southeast. Within these three sub-markets there are 46 individual local industrial regions. Industrial regions are located in areas with access to rail, road and air transportation.

While there is increased demand for industrial space in Calgary, leasing rates for industrial space remains competitive with major urban markets. In addition, the 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 $3.5 billion in Calgary’s transportation infrastructure for the period 2009 – 2018.

Land & Brokers

For organizations looking to find available industrial land, Calgary Economic Development can assist you. Our business development managers can provide support and recommendations for available land. In addition, they can provide up to date leasing rates for industrial space.

Calgary also has a major brokerage presence that can provide much needed services to individuals and organizations looking to purchase land and infrastructure. There are many benefits to using a broker: they are aware of current market conditions; they know and have established relationships with the key industry players; and finally, brokers are well-versed in the process of purchasing land and infrastructure, including legal requirements, making offers and writing/reviewing documents related to purchase. Representation from a broker is critical to ensuring a successful purchase and avoiding legal difficulties by choosing to purchase without the assistance of a broker.

Calgary Economic Development’s Business Development Managers have strong relationships with brokers in the city, and can assist organizations and individuals in matching them with the appropriate broker. For more information, contact the Sector Specialist.

Looking for Available Space

Calgary Economic Development partnered with Altus InSite, the primary provider of national office market data and perspective for Canada’s commercial real estate industry. Altus InSite is a division of Altus Group, Canada’s largest independent real estate consulting firm.

Altus InSite is an online tool that companies can use to search for available industrial, office and retail space in the Calgary Region based on the square foot size required. Companies can compare available space by office class, total space and leasing district. The tool also provides information for the leasing contact so companies can inquire further about space they are interested in.

Use the Altus InSite tool to search for available industrial, office and retail space.

Foreign Trade Zone

The Calgary Region was officially announced as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) June 2, 2015, by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification). The announcement of Foreign Trade Zone designation is an important element needed to strengthen, promote and grow the logistics, transportation and manufacturing sectors in the Calgary Region.

Whether its high fashion from Paris or fittings for pipe from Tianjin PRC, there is a potential FTZ solution in the Calgary region. For sector stakeholders in the Calgary Region or those considering a presence here, we are the single point of information serving companies contemplating in-bond or sufferance warehousing anywhere in the Calgary market.

These two approved methodologies – the in-bond warehouse and the sufferance house (both CBSA monitored facilities), underpin Canada’s competitive position internationally and will add additional strength to: 

  • Calgary’s status as a leading North American inland port and
  • Calgary’s well acknowledged role as Western Canada’s leading distribution centre & transportation hub

In addition the task force members, resources are available to respond to regulatory inquiries through an information portal related to foreign investment decision making, market expansions, inquiries on programing issues and even suggested streamlining of processes.

The Calgary Region Inland Port FTZ designation is a joint venture of Calgary Economic Development and the Calgary Regional Partnership – contact the sector specialist below for more information.  

Calgary Region Inland Port information portal:

Global Business Centre

120 8 AV SE Calgary, AB T2G 0K6

(403) 221-7888

ftzinfo@calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com

 

FTZ Consultants

 

In partnership with Calgary Economic Development & Calgary Regional Partnership

 

Need more information?

Patti Dunlop

Business Development Manager, Transportation & Logistics

Cell Phone: (403) 808-0134

Office Phone: (403) 767-1322

Contact

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