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Savage Brings Exceptional Supply Chain Solutions to Canada

In 1999, the Savage brothers wrote a Vision and Legacy statement as a cultural constitution of sorts for the company they’d built over 50 years. Among other guidance it contains, the Vision and Legacy outlines our founders’ intent that Savage remain “aggressive and in control, pursuing business opportunities where it can succeed by developing trusting relationships with customers.” For a business that began nearly 80 years ago in rural Utah (USA), with a single truck, Savage’s expansion across North America and beyond is one of the biggest indicators of our ongoing commitment to a relationship-based culture.

By leveraging our supply chain infrastructure and expertise, we’re able to develop solutions that provide Customers with more efficient and cost-effective connections to international markets for their products and materials. With established relationships in over 200 locations, our team plays a vital role in supporting Customers and Partners in their work to Feed the World, Power Our Lives, and Sustain the Planet. We’ve been operating in Canada for decades, and our cross-border network offers distinct advantages for Canadian producers and shippers.

The Big Picture

Savage has been able to assist its Customers in Canada to engineer and manage operations critical to their growth by nurturing relationships and breaking down silos. Thanks to the expertise of Team Members with diverse areas of expertise, Savage is able to provide numerous capabilities beyond the typical single-service operator, and has strengthened the Canadian market by:

  • Deepening our connections with the Canadian railroad service providers
  • Helping Canadian Customers harness their full potential through an efficient supply chain
  • Expanding the perspective of future Partners to the merits of fully-equipped material handling experts like Savage

The Canadian Railroad System is as Important as Ever

For nearly twenty-five years, Savage has worked alongside first-class operators in the Canadian railroad market, beginning with a partnership with CSX to operate a portion of their business near Montreal. Later, with the purchase of CANAC in 2004 from Canadian National Railway Corp. (CN), Savage declared that it planned to stay in Canada. This acquisition accelerated the company’s growth in providing rail-related services and provided a strong base for its increased presence throughout the country.

With over a dozen sites in operation across the country, rail has been a critical artery between the companies handling natural resources in Canada, and the companies that use these products in various manufacturing processes who supply the end user. This is a space that Savage knows and services very well.

“The relationships we have with all Class 1 railroads like Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, BNSF, CN, and CPKC are very deep,” said Bernard Lachance, Vice President, Business Development for Savage. “And our relationship is growing with the Canadian Pacific Kansas City and Canadian National railways as we increase our presence in Canada.”

From a services perspective, Savage covers the full breadth of rail operations, including:

As expansive as this list is, there is still much that the company can accomplish alongside Canadian industry leaders. Currently, it is Savage’s reputation as one of the United States’ leading engineering, operating, and infrastructure companies that drives its business in North America. Thanks to a stable of expert Team Members, Savage is able to expand on the typical rail services and terminal operations to include full EPC under the unique lens of an operator.

It is this diversity of high-quality services that Lachance believes will give Savage an edge within the Canadian railroad system. “Single-serve operators have a hard time bringing business to the railway,” he said. “By bringing our business model to Canada, with commodity handling and terminal operations, we have become an important player for those railways. I think it’s a more fulsome relationship.”

Armed with strong partnerships on the rail side, Savage’s Customers unlock greater earnings through a more efficient supply chain.

An Efficient Supply Chain Realizes Canada’s Full Potential

Despite being the second-largest country in the world by total area, less than 20% of Canada’s landmass is inhabited. This makes Canada’s contribution to the supply chain rich with possibility.

“It’s virtually untapped territory,” says Lachance. “We in Canada have resources like nobody else has.” And when it comes to handling and processing those resources to the benefit of our Customers, Savage Team Members know that an efficient supply chain, anchored by a growing transload network, is the key to lasting success in the market.

This is where Savage’s Canadian Partners can really shine. When solutions are needed in designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining, they can turn to Savage for answers tailored to their needs. These may include:

  • Refinery services
  • Marine services
  • Power generation services
  • Bulk material handling
  • HAZMAT services

With hundreds of Savage Team Members in provinces across Canada who are ready to provide solutions to their unique challenges, Customers are able to think broadly about how to solve a problem. “We operate terminals; we operate in plants; we operate ships; we operate ports; we operate transloads,” explains Lachance. “We have this vast network of experience and tools that we’ve been quite active in over time that we bring to bear in operations.”

This range of expertise will be integral in helping Canadian companies exceed their expectations. One challenge remains, however: convincing those who have normally relied on single-service businesses in the past that fully-equipped EPC companies are the key to their future success.

Customers are Empowered with Supply Chain Solutions

In addition to being “aggressive and in control,” the Vision and Legacy outlines an overarching goal that every part of the company is designed to achieve: “a major purpose of the Company is to provide our people with opportunities for personal growth – to do things that they never dreamed possible.” This objective applies not only to Savage Team Members, but also to supporting its Customers and Partners.

As someone who worked for 30 years in the Canadian railroad business, Lachance – alongside his team – knows that Customers need material handling experts like Savage to show them all the tools they have available to them. That understanding can be the difference between designing an operation that is merely functional and designing one that creates a truly efficient supply chain.

“Savage is able to design and build facilities and systems with the benefit of also being an operator,” says Lachance. “We get to show the value of that to people that have not experienced that kind of vision and approach to doing business.” That value manifests in numerous ways, including:

  • Avoiding having to retrofit a terminal later because it doesn’t promote the most efficient supply chain practices
  • Increasing the safety of Team Members and products on site
  • Opening the door for intermodal transportation, which can improve sustainability efforts
  • Allowing Customers to save money by working with a “one-stop-shop” instead of contracting through multiple vendors and managing numerous interfaces

Customers that realize the value of this standard of working are making it the new norm in Canada, and Lachance is confident that variety of Savage’s supply chain solutions will spread even farther.

“What we’re doing here is expanding the conventional mindset in Canada. Our approach to business is very progressive. I love discovering new ways of doing things that allow our Customers to create their own unique golden goose.”

For business inquiries in Canada and beyond, contact us here.