New Maersk Transload Facility Opens in Vancouver

Maersk-CP transload facility
Maersk-CP transload facility
A rendering of the newly opened Maersk-CP transload facility near the Port of Vancouver. Image via Maersk.

North American importers and exporters are expected to gain more cross-dock transload capacity in their Pacific Northwest supply chains during the 2021 peak season thanks to a newly opened transload facility in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Danish shipping company Maersk and Class I railway Canadian Pacific first announced the construction of the new facility in September 2020, touting ideal connectivity to the Port of Vancouver via truck or rail directly into the warehouse.

The 117,000 square foot, 103 door facility opened Sept. 9.

The ability to cross-dock into domestic 53-foot trailers enables customers to achieve overall cost savings (per cubic meter) for domestic distribution, according to Maersk.

“We’re excited about adding more Pacific supply chain distribution capacity and expertise at a time when customers are looking to find new ways to keep pace with consumer demand and be more sustainable with their carbon emissions,” Maersk Canada President Omar Shamsie said. “The logistics goal of this facility is to allow customers more time and flexibility in decision-making. They can now easily make destination routing decisions upon arrival at the discharge port instead of at origin.”

Maersk contends that the facility is a key pivot point in supply chain management, giving the example that transit time from Busan, South Korea to Vancouver is 16 days, but that when container loading at origin is added (7-10 days) and drop off at load port is added (1-4 days) the real transit can be 25-30 days transit. During that time window, customer orders can change.

However, with a cross dock option, Maersk says, customers have much better response capabilities to demand fluctuations while reducing inventory costs of storage.

To support decarbonization, the Vancouver warehouse is designed to leverage the use of Canadian Pacific rail service direct from the port as a lower carbon emission choice than multiple trucks in the port complex and on local roads.

The company said in a statement that the new facility reflects Maersk’s strategic plan to grow logistics and services capabilities for customers’ supply chains by adding more capacity and flexibility for decision-making.

“We are very proud to open this first-of-its-kind transload facility that creates tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth,” Canadian Pacific President and CEO Keith Creel said. “We are transforming inbound logistics in North America by reducing transit time variability thanks to CP’s premium service and at the same time having a smaller environmental impact and carbon footprint by taking thousands of trucks off the road while leveraging the inherent benefits of moving goods by rail.”