UPS has opened a new distribution center at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to provide businesses with direct access to the U.S. and international markets. The facility, built at a cost of $30 million, is designed to allow local Alberta businesses to tap into global growth markets such as China, India and Mexico.
“Despite the recent recession, Calgary’s economy still stands as a growth engine for Canada with many businesses in the area looking to take advantage of emerging markets overseas,” says Mike Tierney, president of UPS Canada. “The rise of middle classes in China and India offers great potential to businesses in the Calgary area.”
Economists predict China will become the biggest economy in the world by 2050, while the rise of the middle class in India serves as a boon to entrepreneurs in Canada looking to capitalize on consumer demand for western goods. In 2008, India’s purchasing power parity stood at US $2.3 trillion, while China’s stood at US $8 trillion.
The 150,000-square-foot distribution facility has been under construction since June 2008 and will allow UPS to double its package processing capability. The hub houses 157 trucks for ground transportation to surrounding communities in addition to serving as a staging point for aircraft.
The facility also will serve to boost the local economy by employing more than 400 Calgarians and contributing to the transportation sector. The new hub will sort and distribute both air and ground packages and is a direct response to a surge in UPS business. The global logistics company’s shipment volume from the Calgary area has increased 60% since 2003.
The UPS facility is part of the YYC Global Logistics Park, a multifunctional international trade and transportation hub that moves high volumes of goods to and from local, regional and international destinations. Air cargo tonnage has more than doubled at YYC from 66,000 tonnes in 1999 to 134,000 tonnes in 2007. Today, YYC generates more than $6 billion of annual economic activity, accounting for approximately 10 per cent of Calgary’s gross domestic product. More than 15,000 people work on airport land.