From its self-governing structure, down to its extra-wide roads, the Global Transportation Hub creates efficiences on every aspect of supply chains.
Inland Port Authority
Established in 2009, the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) was designed to be Saskatchewan’s commitment to developing a supply chain, logistics, and transportation infrastructure that supports global trade.
Based just east of Regina, it is currently Canada’s only self-governing, autonomous inland port authority. The GTH provides access to affordable land, purpose-built infrastructure, and transportation and logistics partners that make it possible to move goods by truck or rail to markets across North America and ports that service the world.
Currently, there are more than 4,800 weekly truck movements in and out of the GTH, and it has 860 full-time employees on site. The entire GTH footprint covers 1800 acres, with more than half of the land now sold or being leased by businesses.
GTH and PIC
Bryan Richards, the President and CEO of the GTH, has led the port for almost five years. Through Richards, the GTH has been exploring the opportunities that the Greater Regina Area’s (GRA) agri-food processing industry has to offer - including the plant-based protein supply chain.
“We always think in terms of supply chains,” Richards explains. “Our infrastructure is obviously designed to make us, being Saskatchewan, more effective and efficient. 80% of what we produce in this province needs to go for export. So, outstanding transportation infrastructure is really important to us and it will be really important to plant protein because the bulk of [it is] grown in southern Saskatchewan.”
The GTH worked with Protein Industries Canada (PIC) on their bid to receive funding from the federal government's Innovation Superclusters Initiative for agriculture innovation. Being led by a consortium of private sector companies, PIC is estimated to generate over $700 million in new commercial activity and billions in incremental GDP over the next decade with approximately 4,700 new jobs. the GTH assisted in the initial proposal and continues to work with PIC members to advance potential infrastructure projects linked to this opportunity.
Logistics are an important part of the PIC strategy, with which the GTH has a natural fit. “It’s great to develop a new product,” Richards says. “It’s great to produce a product, and it’s even better when you can get it to market. That’s where we come in.”
The GTH’s current offerings, such as their autonomous governance structure, foreign trade zone status, reliable water and water waste, intermodal rail infrastructure, and free-flow access to the Regina Bypass will be important in the success of businesses within the GRA’s agri-value sector. As part of a renewed focus on agri-food opportunities, the GTH is working with rail partners to get other capabilities into play, such as trans-load and bulk rail access.
Parts of the Supply Chain
The city is seeing other logistics hubs in the works, such as Regina’s southeast Chuka Creek Business Park. While an element of competition exists with another intermodal offering in Regina, Richards views this as both complementary and collaborative; as a “series of supply chains layered on top of each other.”
All hubs are a part of the entire Western Canada supply chain and, with more hubs, more flexibility is offered. He says potential companies want to invest where they have options that fit their business model – having more opportunity makes Regina an attractive location.
Richards has found the idea that ‘all trade is local’ to be true. “Everything that happens here is a local guy who is producing something, that needs to get his goods to the US or Asia - but it only starts locally. If he can’t get it out of his warehouse, and into that supply chain, then he can’t export.”
Looking forward to future growth, Pulse Canada has noted they’re seeking to diversify their markets within North America.
The GTH will aid in this strategy. “If they want to open up markets and get pulses more into the mainstream of the United States marketplace as opposed to those that already use them (ie. India, South East Asia), then, we’re well-positioned to be able to get that support to them.”
“We’re close to source,” adds Jordan Gaw, Senior Business Development Specialist at the GTH, “where production is actually happening, and we can tap into those markets very quickly with our infrastructure. When new companies are looking to invest in a place to actually be doing this high-value production, they an don’t want an infrastructure gap.”
Supporting Food Processing
Working with the agri-value sector, the GTH is looking to work with growers and producers to ease the process of entering the food-processing industry.
“We’ve got to do that evolution,” Richards says. “We’ve got to provide the transportation, the logistics, the water, and waste-water, because it takes away a lot of the hurdles it takes to build a plant, and to produce. We’re going to work with them to establish a market and where it’s going to go.”
A strong direction, and the will to develop the GRA agri-value sector through the infrastructure strengths of GTH is set. “We’re focusing more in the agri-food value-add sector,” notes Richards, “because that is going to be a strength of the province and hence, we should be positioned to support, but also take advantage of that strength.”
Learn how Regina is seizing the opportunity to be the center of plant-based food processing in Canada. We’re eager to support every part of the supply chain to help meet growing global needs, and help feed the world.