DSV Opens Largest Multi-Client Logistics Facility in Canada Near Toronto

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In February 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, DSV Global Transport and Logistics moved into their new 1.1 million-square-foot head office and warehouse facility in Milton, Ontario – the largest multi-client logistics facility in Canada. Also serving as the company’s head office, DSV’s Milton warehouse is almost at capacity less than a year after its opening.

Hungry for Space?

In response to the pandemic, DSV has kept supply chains flowing by providing clients with critical services and transporting key goods like PPE and medical supplies. With warehouse space at a premium, DSV’s Milton facility offers unique features such as 111,000-square-feet of climate-controlled space (15-25°C). Catering to the food industry and confectionary clients, DSV is ideally positioned to serve the Canadian B2B and B2C markets with proximity to Canada’s busiest Highway 401 and Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Leading Logistics Through Change

Rob Chanona, Managing Director for DSV Canada’s Solutions Division, said the innovative and state-of-the-art facility will also serve as the model for other similar spaces, as the company expands its unique concept across the country.

Rob Chanona (Linkedin)

“COVID-19 has ultimately changed the way every business looks at their supply chain and its future. With rolling lockdowns throughout the country, e-commerce has grown exponentially, and businesses are looking to optimize the way they reach their customers on a multi-channel level. The ability to change and grow is defining a new logistics focus in 2020 and beyond,” notes Chanona.

“1.1 million square feet is definitely big, but there’s a value with being big that we’re trying to bring to the market. It’s a uniquely DSV initiative to create size, scale and flexibility, and the only way to do that is to go large,” he said. “It’s the largest multi-client facility in Canada. We’re the seventh largest physical warehouse building in Canada but we’re the largest multi-client facility.

“That is the essence of our strategy. Typically, if you’re a client in Canada that needs product distribution, regardless of the vertical you’re in, you typically need to find a facility to fit your business. The problem is, especially in a changing economy, you get that 100,000-square-foot space you need today, but then you’re constrained. You can’t grow within 100,000 square feet, and with the low vacancy rates that we’re seeing in the GTA, that’s becoming a more challenging problem for clients who are growing while also trying to distribute their products cost-effectively. The alternative that we’re bringing to the market is instead of investing in your own 100,000-square-foot space, our 1.1 million square-foot-facility is multi-client. We have more than one client in our Milton facility, giving our clients the potential to scale up and down as we flex with other clients that are in the same building. In this size and scale, we’re giving clients the flexibility of being somewhat transactional. If they grow, they pay more. If they decrease or must scale back, they pay less. It’s a way for them to manage the cost logistics in their business. Amplified by the pandemic, being able to scale your business to the market needs is critical, says Chanona.”

DSV, a global company with international headquarters in Hedehusene, Denmark (near Copenhagen), is a global transport and logistics service provider – with air and sea, road, rail freight, customs brokerage and warehousing services. The company has operated since 1976. Today, with over 55,000 employees in over 80 countries, DSV is the world’s 5th largest transport and logistics company.

“DSV encompasses the entire spectrum of supply chain services. We are segmented into three business units – Air & Sea, Road and Solutions (our warehousing),” said Chanona. “We provide the entire gamut for end-to-end supply chain management.”

DSV Milton Warehouse. Photo: DSV Solutions Inc.

What’s Next for DSV Canada?

DSV’s new facility in Milton provides a one-source solution for businesses. With fully racked shelving locations and 40-foot clear height, its size and scope can handle many client needs.

“As we look toward 2021, we know that many clients are redesigning their supply chains with a domestic focus. Investing in the future of Canadian logistics is where we want to be and grow,” says Rob Chanona.

“We have plans currently to expand in the lower Mainland of Vancouver, using a similar design model as Milton.. The reason for that is we have a lot of customers that want either a bi-coastal or a separate West Coast and East Coast distribution centre to address their supply chain requirements,” said Chanona.

“Based on the current needs and e-commerce growth in the Canadian marketplace, we could easily envision a Milton 2.0 in the next three to five years. Vancouver is going to be coming online in about two and a half years. It takes a little bit of financial strength to be able to invest in this type of strategy. It’s a sound strategy because we bring value to clients’ supply chains by having these large warehouses, so we’re convinced that this is the way to go.”

In Canada alone, DSV has over 2 million square feet of warehouse space.

Warehouse Automation. Photo: DSV Solutions Inc.

Automate to Innovate

“DSV is very big on automation. One of the additional things that we bring to the marketplace in these big facilities is the ability to implement automation. These large scale facilities allow DSV to invest in automation concepts such as warehouse robotics and moving goods to people,” said Chanona.

“One of the challenges with automation for a client in that 100,000-square-foot size range is automation is fairly capital intensive and you need a lot of volume to offset the costs. In a multi-client environment, what we do when we build partnerships in a certain vertical, like say fashion apparel, a retail fashion customer, is you put like-minded customers together and you build scale. It allows DSV to invest the heavy capital and then spread it over three to four clients that normally wouldn’t be able to do it on their own.”

Chanona adds that “Automation benefits everyone; clients and warehouse workers alike. It elevates the opportunities and showcases to clients how they can leverage efficiencies and scale to best suit their business.”

Learn more at: www.ca.dsv.com

Contact DSV: solutions@ca.dsv.com

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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