CEDC Highlights Thunder Bay’s Competitive Advantage

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Doug Murray, new head of the CEDC
Doug Murray
Doug Murray, new head of the CEDC
Doug Murray

THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) held a special presentation today to expand on the City’s Competitive Position ranking as it was highlighted in the 2014 edition of the KPMG’s Guide to International Business Location Costs: Competitive Alternatives.

Doug Murray, CEO of the Thunder Bay CEDC, outlined the following business costs in the Report with respect to: facilities, labour, transportation, utilities, and taxes. While facility costs, labour costs and utility costs were in Thunder Bay’s favour or neutral, the city didn’t fare so well on commercial and industrial property taxes. However, the biggest hurdle is transportation costs.

“When the Study’s model requires us to ship finished goods overseas or in a container, we didn’t do very well at all. Because the container trains don’t stop in Thunder Bay for us to receive our shipping containers, it is a disadvantage to us, explains Doug Murray.

“Thunder Bay can compete on truck traffic to areas within its footprint, but because the planes flying into Thunder Bay are smaller and air freight has to go through a hub like Toronto, air freight costs are a little higher here than some other cities.”

Thunder Bay can now work with the Ontario Government’s multimodal study process to investigate access to containers and work with the federal government toward the creation of a plan for smaller communities to be involved in the upcoming European Free Trade Agreement and Trans Pacific Partnership Agreements by allowing them to get access to cost effective container service.
Thunder Bay was compared to 24 cities close by and 50 distant cities.

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