B.C.’s Global Agricultural Trans-Loading to Double OperationsWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The government of Canada is investing up to C$23 million in Global Agricultural Trans-Loading’s (GATL) rail infrastructure and capacity improvement project at its CN-served facility in Surrey, British Columbia.
Transport Canada on March 17 reported that the investment, through the National Trade Corridors Fund, will help GATL move agricultural products and grain “faster and more efficiently, while strengthening supply chains in B.C.”
The project includes a three-track rail spur, new container lifts, railcar pushers, conveyor belt systems and bagging equipment.
GATL’s transloading facility stretches over five acres . According to GATL, it neighbors “western Canada’s biggest rail terminal, CN Thornton Rail, connecting to major rail intermodal terminals and docks such as the Sea Port Terminal, Delta port, Fraser Surrey Docks, and Port Metro Vancouver docks.”
Upon project completion, GATL is slated to double current transload exports of agricultural goods from 750,000 tons to 1.5 million tons within the existing facility site, “allowing it to facilitate $1 billion in exports per year,” GATL CEO Johnny Sangha said. The project will also “alleviate bottlenecks along export routes,” Sangha noted, and “will make GATL an even more valuable connection point between Canadian specialty agriculture export supply chain and rapidly expanding Indo-Pacific and South American markets.”
“Canadian exporters rely on a strong supply chain,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. “This investment will help reduce delays and bottlenecks, while transferring agricultural products from one mode of transportation to another, ensuring Canada’s products reach global markets efficiently.”
The National Trade Corridors Fund is a competitive, merit-based program, supporting improvements to Canada’s rail, roads, air and marine shipping routes “to foster domestic and international trade,” according to Transport Canada. A total of C$4.7 billion over 11 years (2017-2028) has been allocated to the program.