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3PL - In Alberta_C

Home of the Rockies, the Calgary Stampede, and the 23rd largest mall in the world, Alberta is full of many gems.

Alberta is also known for its phenomenal skylines, lakes, and amazing culture, however what is not usually known, is its potential to be an excellent location for 3PL providers.

 Logistic companies across Alberta enjoy the many benefits of rooting themselves here. So we have compiled the reasons why Alberta based 3PL’s are better situated, and why they should be your first choice for finding a Western 3PL partner. 

Alberta’s Beneficial Location

When comparing Alberta to the other Western provinces, Alberta being landlocked may be enough for you to immediately jump to British Columbia and the port access. While it makes sense to utilize port access if you need to distribute your product internationally, for distributions across Western Canada and Canada wide, Alberta’s beneficial location, and cheaper prices can be a no brainer. 

For example, the port access in British Columbia drives up the cost to operate the facilities around the area resulting in high prices from a 3PL provider. Along with exposure to its own other unique issues such as inclement weather, 3PL providers located around port areas have different disruptors than Alberta. Towards the end of 2021, over 30,000 McDonald's restaurants experienced a drastic potato shortage across Japan due to a shipping issue in Vancouver. 

A statement from McDonald's Japan regarding the potatoes imported Canada stated “There was a delay in imports due to the effects of a large-scale flood near the port of Vancouver, Canada, which is a transit point for shipping services, and disruption to the global distribution network due to the Corona disaster."

This major event shut down roads throughout the province, drastically affecting the national and international supply chain. While the effects were still felt in Alberta, distributors were still able to leave the province and find alternate routes. Whereas some parts of British Columbia were entirely cut off from the rest of Canada. 

Since not everyone is looking to ship internationally, access to a port location is not alway the way to go. You can benefit from competitive pricing and prime location by looking no further than Alberta. 

A 2021 report from the Calgary Economic Development (CED) states that “Calgary is a strong market for rail access, particularly for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP). While the Canadian National Railway (CN) also has operations in the area, Calgary is the prime connection point for CP cargos coming from the West Coast and the Port of Vancouver to Eastern Canadian locations.” This rail access has allowed Alberta to become a substantial hub for many logistics operations. 

Along with rail access, the major road connections across the province allow for less than 24-hour delivery service to all Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, according to the report. In turn this enables access to more than 50 million consumers.

“With one of Canada’s busiest and best-connected airports, major highways north-south (Queen Elizabeth II) and east-west (TransCanada), two of North America’s Class I railways, and efficient access to ocean ports, Calgary is a gateway to millions of customers locally and internationally.”

Even larger companies such as Amazon are taking advantage of Alberta’s superb location for warehousing and distribution means. 

In a statement from the Mayor of the Town of Acheson regarding Amazon’s latest fulfilment center, Rod Shaigec said “The strategic location along the CanaMex corridor and the Trans-Canadian highway, allows companies to cover, via truck, all of Western Canada within a one-day drive.” 

Alberta’s location in the epicenter of Western Canada can be used strategically by 3PL companies to access larger volumes of customers in a short time. Meaning your products can be in the hands of millions sooner. “It has emerged as the Western North American warehouse and distribution hub for both Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S,” according to the 2021 CED report. 

Breaking Alberta down further yields the two major cities, Edmonton which is located in the North of the province, and Calgary which is towards the South. Both of these major cities have excellent locations and benefits for 3PL providers, and in turn, companies looking for a 3PL Provider. 


Home of the biggest outdoor show on earth, Calgary is the most populated city in the Province. With an international airport and accessible major highways, Calgary is a hub for transportation and 3PL companies. 

A report published by the Calgary Economic Development in 2021 said that “The City of Calgary has a strong history in specialized and global logistics. This means that we have the talent, a mix of providers and servicers, diversified transportation and logistics infrastructure to meet almost any need, including global air access, continent spanning railroad, and long and short distance trucking.”

The report also found that “The Calgary region has one of the deepest talent bases for engineering, has an excellent quality of life, good recruit-ability, a very good overall tax regime, and a favourable operating cost structure.” 

One of Calgary’s own post secondary schools, Mount Royal University, has seen the drastic shift towards logistics and distributions and has as such offers specific training and education programs in supply management to saturate the industry with well educated workers. 

Calgary’s location, community and workforce all add up to make a compelling case for 3PL partners based in the region. Calgary offers the very best in technology, utilized by many 3PL providers spread across the city. 


Calgary isn’t the only viable location to look for your next 3PL partner. The Capital of Alberta, Edmonton, offers its beneficial location as well, and plans to become the inland port of Alberta. 

A 2015 transportation and logistics report from Edmonton Industrial states that, “Edmonton is a transportation and logistics hub and is well positioned to move goods into Western Canada and export products to North American and Asian markets.”

Being dubbed Port Alberta by Edmonton Global, Edmonton is described as “The regional inland port where air, rail, pipelines, roadways converge with favourable regulations, and incentives to create a regional manufacturing, cargo, and logistics hub,” according to their website. 

Akin to the favourable traits of Calgary’s location, 3PL providers in Edmonton have great access to North America through various forms of transportation. These favourable conditions allow the 3PL you partner with to get your product where it needs to go, when it needs to go. 

Located Close to Calgary’s International Airport, Birkby Has Deep Roots in Calgary’s History

With over 100 years of experience in the industry, Birkby is located minutes from Calgary’s international airport and along one of the many major highways in the province. Our proximity to the major transportation routes allows us to distribute your products in a timely manner, while also being in a prime location for warehousing and other 3PL work. 

Looking for an Alberta Based 3PL Provider?

Contact us today to learn more about Birkby’s comprehensive 3PL Solutions.

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