|Today's date: Thursday May 23, 2013||Vol 46 Issue 20|
We Cover The County...
Thumbs up - Stephen Taylor, president of Morguard investments, joins Wellington County Warden Chris White, Maple Leaf Consumer Food (MLCF) chief strategy officer Doug Dobbs, senior vice president supply chain MLCF Frank Guido, Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever, SVP Logistics MLCF Bill Kaldis and Eric Dewey president of Schenker Canada Ltd. photo by Mike Robinson Click here for Video
Company hosts groundbreaking for 280,000 square foot distribution centre
by Mike Robinson
It was a dark and stormy morning as representatives of Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, contractors and municipal reps gathered to mark a bright new era in the local economy.
All awaited the first scoop of dirt to mark the official groundbreaking of the new 280,000 square foot Eastern Ontario Distribution hub.
Frank Guido, senior vice president of the supply chain for Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, welcomed those gathered on “not-so-much-a-sunny day” for the groundbreaking of the new eastern distribution centre in Puslinch.
“The foundation being erected today represents more than just concrete and steel,” Guido said.
“It’s actually a foundation that will form the basis of Maple Leaf’s historic transformation in building a world class supply chain network.”
Guido added, “when we officially open the doors a year from now, it will serve as the prepared meats eastern distribution hub serving our prepared meats business. We’re pretty excited about the progress that is being made here and the role it will play in our network.”
He added, “the facility is going to play an integral part of business success and we are quite proud to call Puslinch Township home.”
He recognized key partners as Puslinch Township, the Morguard Corporation, DB Schenker and RBC Capital Markets.
“They have been the key folks who have been instrumental in getting us to this point.”
“Although we have made a lot of progress in the past 30 days, there was a lot of work which preceded that to get us to this point.”
“From Maple Leaf’s perspective, we couldn’t be more happy or proud to have each of you as partners.”
Doug Dodds, chief strategy officer for MLCF considered the weather fitting for the groundbreaking as, “a lot of the discussion was protection of the environment and storm water management - we’re testing that today.”
He added, “From a personal standpoint, I’m taking a great deal of satisfaction in seeing this start to move forward.”
As a resident of Guelph, Dodds had driven past the site for many years, always considering it as ideal for a distribution centre.
“We picked Puslinch, not only as a great site, but its location logistically from a distribution standpoint is wonderful. We can reach 100 million people in North America within hours of this particular site. It is very strategic in terms of our transformation agenda with the new plant we are building in Hamilton.”
Dodds added that he is supportive of Puslinch’s efforts to straighten out the 401 interchange issue and address the Highway 6 issue in Morriston, “which we travel every day.”
“Certainly you can count on our support as you move that forward on your agenda (Mayor Lever).”
The distribution centre is part of Maple Leaf’s $500 to $600 million investment across Canada - creating high tech permanent jobs.”
Dodds stated that this facility will be the only one in Canada which will be able to compete on a cost structure basis.
“We’re pretty proud to be the only Canadian company that has a cost structure in terms of food that can compete anywhere across the country.”
“It may seem a little trite, but the leadership of your mayor has been outstanding.”
Mayor Lever welcomed visitors “to one of the few rainy days Puslinch has had this year.
“I’m very pleased and honoured to be here today and be part of this wonderful groundbreaking.
“It was only nine months ago that I first learned that could actually be a possibility here. Puslinch has a long relationship with Schneiders and Maple Leaf Foods.”
Lever pointed out that two kilometres west of the groundbreaking site is the famous Schneiders’ sign visible from the 401.
“Coincidently last year the sign celebrated its 50th anniversary. Who would have guessed 51 years ago we’d be here two kilometres away opening a world class facility.
“This is not just a building, but a state of the art distribution centre serving eastern and central Canada.
“It is going to bring important economic benefits to this area including jobs and investment into the community.
“We’re looking forward to a long and successful partnership together.”
Warden Chris White said “on behalf of the county, I want to tell you how thrilled and excited we are to have this facility here.
“We recognize the value of economic development for fiscal sustainability and quality of life. This Maple Leaf facility fits that bill precisely.”
Eric Dewey, president of Schenker Canada Ltd., said he is part of a global company which is proud to have 95,000 employees and last year exceeded 17 billion euros in sales.
He said that in southern Ontario, his firm operates between 20 to 25 distribution centres on behalf of its customers - such as Maple Leaf Foods.
“We’re very excited about this project. We are confident that we will be able to deliver on all of our promises, in delivering a world-class distribution centre.”
Stephen Taylor, president of Morguard Investments, commented that his company has a dual role in this project.
One was an investment opportunity to build and own the facility, plus Morguard will be responsible for the full site development.
He said the facility will meet LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) silver status upon completion.
Taylor said the LEED recognition is an international mark of excellence - green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
“The property is to serve as the hub of the eastern Canada distribution network and is critical to the strategy to reduce costs and complexity of the prepared meats distribution network.”
He noted grading of the site began in July.
The foundations for the 280,000 square foot facility started in August with the expectation of the project being completed by July 2013.
“This is a unique and exciting project for all the parties,” Taylor said.
“The centre will be a showcase of green design and operational efficiencies.”
He contended that with over 25 million square feet of industrial space under its management, Morguard is one of Canada’s largest industrial landlords.
September 21, 2012
The Wellington Advertiser
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