Consolidated Fastfrate has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art transload, distribution and warehouse centre in Halifax capable of processing about 70 marine containers daily. Company president Ron Tepper compares the centre to what his company has done in Vancouver.

“Currently, we transload approximately 20,000 containers a year in Vancouver and we expect to replicate that service in Halifax, making Fastfrate the only company working the east and west coasts of Canada,” he said. “The port of Halifax is important because its use eases the congestion of west coast ports, and if you actually look at the shipping lanes, it is closer to the Indian sub-continent.”

Consolidated Fastfrate will spend about $10 million to construct the 90,000 square-foot facility in the Burnside Industrial Park. Construction is expected to be finished later this year. A second phase, estimated at an additional cost of $3 million that could add up to 60,000 additional square feet, is also anticipated within two years.

Halifax was chosen as the site for the new facility because of its competitive advantages as a major shipping and distribution hub for North America.

When complete, the facility in Burnside will unload and sort cargo for transportation across North America. Empty shipping containers can then be loaded with export cargo. Currently, cargo is trucked to distribution centres in Toronto and Montreal. Handling distribution locally means reduced costs and faster turnaround when processing import and export cargo.

“Growing the port’s containerized cargo business is our primary focus. Having Consolidated Fastfrate as a key port partner certainly enhances the services available to shippers and shipping lines moving containers through Halifax,” says Karen Oldfield, president and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority.

Consolidated Fastfrate is a national transportation company with more than 1,500 employees. It operates 17 shipping distribution terminals across Canada. Since 2001, it has been a repeat winner of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies award.