When Parkland Fuel Corporation needed to optimize its entire fuel supply chain network in southern Ontario, they asked Cando Rail & Terminals to provide a solution.

Our solution: To design, build, finance, operate, and maintain an industry leading, strategically located fuel terminal.

“This is a highly competitive business and a highly regulated one,” said Shane Boschman, Director, Supply Logistics and Operations with Parkland. “We needed a sophisticated partner to help us.”

The Opportunity

As one of North America’s fastest growing independent marketers of fuel and petroleum products, and Canada’s largest fuel retailer, Parkland Fuel Corporation needed to improve its product sourcing options. It also wanted to enhance supply reliability in the southern Ontario market, one of the highest demand areas in Canada.

With Ontario pipeline and refining capability at capacity, sourcing product by rail became the only viable solution. Fuel delivery by rail typically means building a fuel distribution terminal or bulk plant with large storage tanks, along with equipment to blend it to exacting specifications — a solution that normally comes with a high cost and a long development schedule. Parkland came to Cando Rail & Terminals in 2014 to find a more efficient and cost-effective solution.

The Solution

Cando Rail & Terminal’s concept was to design a modular and scalable rail direct-to-truck terminal that could grow with Parkland’s business, and the first stage would be up and running in a fraction of the usual time. By doing so, we were able to minimize the initial start-up costs along with the project lead time while, more importantly, not compromising on environmental protection and safety features.

Finding a suitable location for a terminal facility was key to the success of the project. Working with Parkland, we sourced the land and helped work out the necessary details of the land acquisition and agreements.

With the location secured, we moved onto the full design of the facility, supplementing our in-house engineering, transload logistics, rail, and design expertise with specialists from companies across Canada. We partnered with civil and environmental engineers to ensure the site would meet or exceed all necessary standards, including complying with Ontario’s strict new regulations regarding spill prevention, air emissions, and safety. Throughout the build, we worked closely with regulators to ensure the finished facilities complied with legislation.

Working with long-term partner Hall Technologies of Calgary, we developed and designed customized modular transload units that can work both as a straight product transload unit or a mixed product blending unit. This equipment is among the most advanced of its kind for this type of operation and one of the only direct rail to truck ethanol blending equipment being used in Canada.

The Impact

From this ground-breaking approach, we designed, built, and financed a rail terminal that is the most advanced facility of its kind anywhere in Canada, with added inventory control features such as RFID badges that allow for automated bill of lading control.

In December 2015, less than 12 months after the initial concept, we moved into Phase I trial operations and were fully operational 11 months later. Operations and throughput continued to meet or exceed expectations which resulted in a further Phase III expansion by summer 2017.

Under current regulations, the site can load 22 trucks a day. In one record breaking day, Cando helped load 22 trucks in just eight hours. The total throughput capacity of the Hamilton Terminal is around one million litres per day.

Cando has become a trusted advisor for Parkland. When Parkland started looking at adding biodiesel blending capabilities to the site in the summer of 2021 due to provincial initiatives for renewable fuels, they came to Cando to create and design a biodiesel expansion plan that included new blending equipment and the installation of an on-site tank. Cando and Parkland continue to work together on continuous improvement opportunities.