CORNWALL, Ont. – International Truckload Services Inc. (ITS) soon plans to stop being a renter in Cornwall, Ont. and start being a landlord.
The company is getting ready to put the shovels in the ground and start construction on a $5.5 million dollar, C-TPAT-certified facility. The 25,000 sq.-ft. building will have room for a six-bay, 11,000 sq.-ft. garage, 11,000 sq.-ft. of office space, and a 4,000 sq.-ft., six-door dock.
Currently, the Belleville, Ont.-based trucking company rents three separate spaces (for office, yard, and garage activities) in the growing logistics hub, but ITS president Rob Haggarty said it was time for a change.
“We’ve been watching the activity in Cornwall with regard to the distribution centres everybody knows about,” he said. “So we’ve decided over the last few years that we needed to expand because customers were expanding and moving there. We had an opportunity about three years ago and bought 17 acres, and this spring another four acre parcel that is adjacent to it came up, so we bought that, giving us a total of 21 acres. We’ve been working with a contractor for a couple of years to build a facility and now we are getting close to breaking ground.”
According to Haggarty, the building will actually be more than ITS needs at the moment.
“The office is actually two floors. We are not going to be using the top floor. We are going to be looking for tenants or a tenant. We over-built the facility and the yard with that in mind because there aren’t a whole lot of options in Cornwall, so we thought maybe if we find a carrier or carriers who were interested in space, we’d lease the upstairs of the office and the parking in the yard.”
ITS is entering a period of transition. Besides starting construction in Cornwall, Haggarty said there are other changes ahead. Earlier this year, ITS purchased Brantford, Ont.-based David Cordingley Transport (DCT). DCT’s lease is up in less than a year.
“We’ll be looking to lease another facility. We certainly aren’t going to be building another one. There is a lot of opportunity down there [in Brantford]. We are very busy in our facility there.”
After that’s finished, then Haggarty said the company will still have another potential project on its plate, as the company’s head office is overdue for a major renovation or replacement, but for now there are no firm plans to undertake that work.
Although building in Cornwall represents a major investment for ITS, Haggarty believes it is the right decision for the business.
“There are always stories and rumours about other distribution companies that are looking at looking at Cornwall, and there are not a lot of real trucking facilities there. There are some, but there’s not much, so we thought we’re really going to do one up. We are really staking a lot of our future on this, but we feel strongly it is the right thing to do in the environment down in Cornwall. The City of Cornwall has been really great to deal with too. They’re really easy to get along with.”