XTL opens its first distribution center in Alberta

by Derek Clouthier

XTL Transport opened a new 197,000 sq.-ft. distribution and logistics center in Calgary Sept. 22, the company’s first in Alberta.

The new Calgary location provides a strategic location that can lower distribution costs to major cities in North America, expands XTL’s footprint in Western Canada and provides an ideal location for its U.S. operation.

Craig Germain speaks at opening
XTL Transport COO Craig Germain addresses attendees at the opening of the distribution center in Calgary, AB. (Photo: Derek Clouthier)

“This opportunity came about from us outgrowing our existing facility in Airdrie, Alta., for transport logistics, and our commitment to having a distribution services offering in Alberta before 2024,” said Craig Germain, COO of XTL. “Let’s just say we decided to advance that commitment to this year, as we felt the time was right to expand our distribution footprint, open our new logistics office, and provide a secure yard facility for our new U.S. cross-border operation and equipment.”

With a warehouse facility in Delta, B.C., and transportation operations in Surrey, B.C., and Airdrie, Luc Francoeur, vice-president of sales and marketing, says XTL long had a vision to be in the four major Canadian centers – Toronto, Montreal, B.C., and Calgary.

“Ownership and senior management challenged us for what we should do in Alberta, and I felt it was the right time to open a distribution center,” Francoeur said. “It’s been part of our vision to grow our footprint in Western Canada. We never managed transportation cross-border from Western Canada, now we’re managing more into California and the Midwest from here, so we’ve added equipment and we said, let’s put in a distribution center that can continue to support our logistics, trans-management, and our transportation operations.”

Francoeur has been with XTL for 28 years, and says customers were looking for the supply chain company to have more of a “national presence,” which meant a Western Canadian expansion.

“When you look at the cost of what’s going on in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, we felt it was the right opportunity at this time from a cost perspective, and from a growth perspective to come to Calgary,” he said. “It’s a great hub for distribution…and there’s tons of opportunities to grow here.”

XTL's Calgary DC
(Photo: Derek Clouthier)

XTL’s logistics and U.S. operations will move from its transportation center in Airdrie to the new facility in Calgary. Much of the product at the Calgary facility will be distributed to Costco, Walmart, Sobeys and other major retailers.

XTL’s Airdrie location was originally designed for the company’s Costco operation, and will continue to manage all the distribution to the major retailer’s Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba locations. Along with growing its logistics, trans-management, and U.S. operation, the Calgary facility will manage about 80% of all inbound product coming into the facility, as well as outbound, adding value to XTL’s transportation operation.

“Even though we’re all under the same umbrella, it’s two distinct operations,” Francoeur said of the two Alberta locations.

XTL also expanded its asset-based refrigerated transport and dry van trucking operations in Alberta and B.C. this past January, further increasing its presence in Western Canada.

“We realized in the last several years that our infrastructure is larger in the east, and we want to have the same in Western Canada,” said Francoeur.

The company has approximately 400 tractors in its fleet, with about 40% in Western Canada.

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