Transportation & Logistics
We are a team of three recent engineering graduates from Calgary that are entering the management consulting industry after working in the petroleum industry. We made the decision to leave typical career paths and be apart of diverse, creative, high impact initiatives. We believe in learning by doing; we experience quick failures and build towards successes on our lessons learned. The sustainability of our approach is twofold: we collaborate with each other to grow and we incorporate altruism and environmentalism into our objectives.
Our focus has been on strengthening Canadian cargo supply chains to support Canada in its journey to become a leading international trading hub. Together, we are creating a commercially viable blueprint to optimize and empower supply chain capabilities of Canada by implementing new technologies and optimizing existing systems. Our most recent work involved developing a cargo supply chain strategy enabled by Hyperloop technology, which brought us to the semi-finals in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. As we are all native Calgarians, the supply chain strategy enclosed in this submission is very near and dear to our hearts, and we are excited to work together to free the untapped economic potential of our City.
Our submission: Loop YYC
Whenever we think of abandoned industrial buildings, a lot of us imagine old, mouldy walls, maybe with a run down four wheeler on a barren piece of land. But can these unused spaces or ‘brownfields’ continue to serve our community?
Our proposal focuses on reusing one of the 30,000 abandoned industrial sites in Canada as a logistics centre for intermodal cargo transport. The centre will hold goods that support Calgary’s foundation: energy sector, agriculture, and retail. Housing the warehouse on underutilized property will preserve valuable farmland and natural areas. Situating the warehouse within our City limits will also lead to sustainable and long-term employment while also increasing the tax base for the government. At the municipal level, a redeveloped brownfield will increase property tax revenues and subsequently Calgary’s ability to increase its public services. Compared to equivalent greenfield development, one hectare of a redeveloped brownfield can reduce transportation costs by up to $66,000/year.
From an economics perspective, the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy found that Canada’s brownfield redevelopment has the “highest output multiplier of any sector in the economy.” In other words, funds allocated towards brownfield redevelopment would improve the economy far more than investment in any other sector. However, the biggest obstacle to brownfield redevelopment in Alberta is a lack of clarity. The lack of understanding around risk management application has subsequently resulted in a limited access to capital. As such, our city is now home to more unused spaces than ever.
While promoting the local economy, adding another intermodal hub to Canada’s cargo supply chain also alleviates challenges faced by existing transportation systems and improves market access for Alberta’s exports. Inefficiencies exist in the supply chain because of the separation between import destinations and our exports. This means that when goods are imported to the country they are delivered to densely populated areas, but natural resource exports are often retrieved from remote locations. This results in up to 65% of rail cars returning to the seaports empty, where exports are then transloaded in one location causing congestion and ultimately reducing our export capacity. Calgary’s central location and proximity to natural resources such as agriculture makes it an ideal intermodal location to maximize rail utilization and support our local economy.
As Calgary grows, we are looking more towards grocery delivery on top of the typical Amazon-esque purchases. The traditional supply chain is effective at providing high quality supply of goods such as gas, which have a consistent demand volume. However, it fails when dealing with goods that have a fluctuating demand. E-commerce expects double-digit growth through 2020, with more customers opting for same day delivery. So, while we may click the ‘same day delivery’ and pay for it, the chances of it reaching our door step is slim.
Our proposal focuses on creating a responsive supply chain that not only adapts to consumer demand volatility but also preserves product quality. As a first step, we would aim to collaborate with the City of Calgary and conduct a feasibility study to map the project’s environmental and economic impact. This will ensure that we service the cargo industry’s human-centred design needs and build Calgary as a responsible environmental caretaker.