MONCTON, N.B. — “The times of the old, run-down trucking terminals are coming to an end.”
That was the declaration made by Doug Munro, president and owner of Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines, just moments before cutting the ribbon to officially open the company’s state-of-the-art new $20-million terminal and cross-dock facility in Berry Mills, N.B., on the outer edge of Moncton.
“We have to get the industry in line with better equipment, higher quality, and doing it efficiently,” Munro said to an audience including customers, business partners and local politicians.
That palatial new Atlantic Canada hub sits on 46 acres of land, about 18 of which have been developed to house the facility’s 20,000 sq.-ft. of office space and 70,000 sq.-ft. of warehousing. The plan, Munro said, is to further develop the property as demand dictates.
“We’ve developed about half of it here with this first phase with the hope that we can add on to the building as demand increases,” Munro explained.
It took about three years to choose the location, Munro said, before the company selected its new site, which is just off the Trans-Canada Hwy. and also near CN’s rail facilities. The idea is to get into the long combination vehicle (LCV) business and to run double-53s from Ontario right through to Atlantic Canada, once twinning is completed on a short stretch of the Trans-Canada in Quebec. Maritime-Ontario doesn’t yet run LCVs in Ontario or in Atlantic Canada, but it’s planning to add the service and will be spec’ing new equipment accordingly.
Munro said Maritime-Ontario’s strength is in moving freight efficiently, and it does this by employing logistics loading in containers and trailers to ensure all available capacity is utilized. It also works closely with the railways, with intermodal representing 50-60% of its overall business in Atlantic Canada.
“What we do that’s different, is we take freight and stack it so that we can optimize the cubic utilization of each trailer or container and send it by CN or CP or by truck,” Munro said. “For every two trucks our competition is moving, we’re moving one and that is the benefit of shipping logistically as we’re doing.”
The cross-dock facility was intentionally built much wider than most, so that freight can be staged in the centre section and more strategically loaded to cube out trailers and containers, Munro explained.
Another unique feature of the new terminals is a roller compacted concrete yard, which is stronger than asphalt, so that trailers can be parked anywhere without concerns the landing gear legs will break through the asphalt. Munro said it’s a costly new technology, but Lafarge is one of Maritime-Ontario’s biggest customers and they were able to work out a deal. The concrete is also in place at the company’s Brampton yard.
Freight moved through the new hub will come from all over Canada. The plan is to sort freight in the new facility and then re-load it for further distribution on to other points in Atlantic Canada.
“This will be our main operating hub,” Munro said.
Maritime-Ontario currently operates more than 23 terminals across Canada. Its Moncton location was previously located in the Caledonia Business Park and offered just 10,000 sq.-ft. The new location, on a well-travelled route on the outskirts of Moncton, attracts more attention, according to Steve Snow, vice-president of sales and marketing with Maritime-Ontario.
“We’re already getting unsolicited calls from people who are driving up the highway, have watched this building go up and some of them are saying they’re looking for solutions but they never thought of calling us because we were tucked away,” Snow said.
Roger Melanson, Minister of Finance, Transportation and Infrastructure in New Brunswick, congratulated the company and thanked it for bringing jobs to the province. He projected the New Brunswick economy will grow 1.3% in 2016.
“Maritime-Ontario will help us achieve those goals and we will see more jobs created and more people working,” Melanson said.
Have your say
We won't publish or share your data