by Tina Olivero

    Integrated logistics thrives at the Port of Argentia

    Argentia, Newfoundland, supports the port area with an abundance of lay down and storage space. There are over 180 hectares available to provide the right service for businesses who avail of a globally strategic location. That’s why Integrated Logistics invested in operations in Argentia.

    Integrated logistics provides traditional stevedoring or marine base style solutions, and manages project cargo, from ship hold all the way through to installation. This approach has allowed Integrated Logistics to expand from their “launch pad” terminal in Argentia to completing projects in Long Harbour, Long Pond, Bull Arm, Come-by-Chance, Goose Bay and, most recently, our first project in Corner Brook.

    Andrew Short the General Manager of Integrated Logistics says, “We identified Argentia as our “launch pad” terminal. In our start-up phase, Argentia had everything that we were looking for. It has great existing quay infrastructure, significant back lands, and space for further developments. We believe that with the space available and the location in the province it is well suited for future success; many businesses can benefit from the advantages of being this close to ocean transport. Argentia has a lot of growth opportunity without infringing on residential dwellings. Internally we believe Argentia has too many great qualities not to grow its industrial capacity. We have worked with all three of the province’s recent mega projects, Vale Long Harbour Construction, Hebron in Bull Arm, and with freight for the Muskrat Falls and the Island Transmission Link projects.”

    Andrew said, “The Argentia site is adjacent to many of the province’s most developed industrial sites. Marystown Ship Yard, Bull Arm Fabrication Center, Long Harbour Processing Plant, and the North Atlantic Refinery are all in the region, and hopefully,   we can add Husky’s Drydock Facility to that list soon. Sometimes we forget that Argentia is also only 90 minutes by road from the largest consumer market in Newfoundland.” He added, “If you look at Argentia as a global site, first we look at all of the benefits of being Canadian: the political stability and legal structure will allow for foreign investment. Then consider the size of the site, with great marine infrastructure, room for growth and zero infringements on residential space. This makes it quite a unique site, as many ports need to find a balance between industrial operations and residents. Argentia has fewer constraints.”

    Client Base

    Integrated Logistics (IL) has a client base catagorized into 3 different groups. First is the primary natural resource developers: Mining, Oil and Gas, Forestry, and Fishing. These companies are typically moving the largest volumes of materials, and marine transport is most often part of the solution. If these companies have long-term needs they will look for a direct relationship with their service providers. This is typically the approach taken by IL to support operations. For these customers, there is no limit to the solutions or investments IL can make to support long-term operations. To date, they have focused most of their attention on the Mining, and Oil and Gas Sectors.

    Secondly, IL works with resource developers that have special projects or seasonal needs. Companies typically hire a global freight forwarder or engineering group to manage that work. Integrated Logistics will then operate as a subcontractor either in the port or anywhere in the supply chain that it is asked to contribute. Due to the globalization of the transportation industry, IL participates in more marketing missions in Europe, and the USA than in Newfoundland. For these customers, they can apply global knowledge and combine it with the local market expertise for the right solution.

    The third type of client is the local transportation providers who offer complementary services. With almost every major project there is some sort of cargo. The Integrated Logistics team works with road transport, crane providers, and heavy lift specialists. In some projects, they are the lead for the project, while in others, their suppliers are the lead and IL subcontracts the project.

    Andrew explains, “We know our local logistics providers are our long-term partners in success in this industry. We try to be mindful that we might be king of the cargo today, but tomorrow we may be asking our subcontractors for a chance to quote.”

    Having extensive experience working at the Port of Argentia, Andrew sees the many applications it may support. He explains, “I believe that large scale manufacturing is best suited for Argentia. Manufacturing activities that are large enough to seize the economic the benefits of having marine transport at the door step, 24-hour operations, and large land footprints. Husky’s assessment of the area has helped to prove the site’s worthiness for a large project construction. My personal view is that, as Newfoundlanders, we need to leverage our energy resources to get the most out of Argentia and similar sites. I understand energy producers need to sell their products on the market, but what if the province could divert some to a site like Argentia to support large-scale manufacturing. We all know that to sell our energy to a reseller it has to be below the end consumer rate. Can we sell some energy to large-scale manufacturing at those reduced rates? What’s the economic impact of another employer with 500 direct jobs? Personally, I believe that jobs and the population growth that employment creates will grow the province, not a particular rate per Kilowatt hour.”

    “If the people marketing Argentia, could promote the site with a potential for reduced electrical rates and bulk fueling rates from the refinery next door, we would be surprised at what global manufacturers would be interested in that. Of course, there is a great future for general cargo, but Argentia is different than most ports. Most often people compare Argentia to smaller mainland ports, and these are pressured for land resources to expand services for a very large population. Argentia has a significant land area with a small island-wide population, which is why I believe, “cheaper than full price energy” is needed. Once we attract some large scale manufactures, industrial cargoes for the entire region will start to consolidate. Then general cargoes will follow. Many times the transportation industry is asked to consider using a particular port, or other infrastructure, but transportation does not create cargo. The industry figures out how to best service the economic engines that demand it. Let’s create another engine or two in Argentia, and similar areas in our province,” he says.

    Andrew concludes, “Like many other Newfoundland companies, we are pretty happy to say that our days and projects are fairly different each time. Certainly, the large projects have some predictability to them, but the marine transport industry exposes Integrated Logistics teams to a lot of different projects. When you combine the different ports, cargoes and customers there is always something different. One of our-long term employees (who is quite a personality) said after finishing a project. “I am not going to say everything is perfect here, but there is always something interesting happening or something I never thought I would be doing. Over the last 7 years, we have had a lot of unique project cargos spread over the province, which has been great for us. We know we are coming to a slower period for the bigger construction projects, but as they begin to operate, and Oil and Gas exploration continue we believe there will be more interesting projects to come.”

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