Regina’s Global Transportation Hub (http://www.thegth.com/) was launched in February of 2011. The 1700 acre property is owned and operated by the province of Saskatchewan. Canada’s Federal Government has provided funds for the road network.
According to Blair Wagar, its chief operating officer, it was developed to achieve several objectives:
1. Try to improve transportation and logistics in Saskatchewan;
2. Bring shippers and carriers together at one location;
3. Help companies drive cost out of their supply chains.
Mr. Wagar pointed out that Loblaw Companies and CP Rail are the two founding tenants. Loblaw’s, one of Canada’s premier food retailers, is occupying a million foot warehouse and is using the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) as it key gateway to western Canada.
CP Rail will begin using this facility as a key intermodal hub this Spring.
This inland port is attracting interest from other leading transportation service providers. Yanke Transfer, a major truckload carrier, will start construction on its 40 acre site in the Spring of 2013 and will run LCVs and temperature control units from this facility.
Consolidated Fastfrate, a large LTL player in Canada, has done a site grading and will also begin construction on its 10 acre facility in the Spring.
From a rail and international shipping perspective, the Global Hub is expecting to handle significant volumes of inbound freight from the Asia Pacific. It also is planning at moving some export volumes to BC (Port Metro) and some via the Port of Montreal to Europe. There are currently 3600 truck movements a week moving through the GTH.
When asked about the GTH’s value proposition, Mr. Wagar highlighted that the roadways in and out of the facility are designed to move turnpike doubles between Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon. Motor carriers can run triples between Regina and Saskatoon only at this point if they have the proper permit. Loblaw is now doing it.
What is the GTH’s growth strategy? “We are interested in any company looking to expand into western Canada, companies trying to improve their supply chains. We are also looking for companies in the transport business that have an interest in setting up terminals in western Canada. The GTH is also of value to local Saskatchewan companies that are trying to tap the export market. For carriers that wish to do business with Loblaw’s they can co-locate with Loblaw in this facility. The value proposition for shippers is that they can co-locate with truck fleet operators,” stated Mr. Wagar.
Looking ahead to the future, the economy is growing in the west. At Regina’s Global Transportation Hub the land is shovel-ready. “To facilitate land and regulatory approvals, the environmental studies have been done,” commented Mr. Wagar. Companies can go from concept to operations almost immediately. All infrastructure can be used by LCVs.”
Which companies should consider locating a terminal location in Regina’s hub? “Companies have to perform a transport economic study to see if Regina is the right place for them to locate,” stated Mr. Wagar. If their freight flows and the economics work, the GTH could be the place for them.