Local logistics firm invests in warehousing facilities in Ingleside to tap into Hwy. 401 corridor

The $25-million facility was built to provide logistics services to businesses in the Cornwall area.

Wills Transfer, a warehousing and logistics firm with headquarters in Smiths Falls, has completed construction of a 155,000-square-foot warehouse in Ingleside, south of Hwy. 401.

“The building is 31 feet clear, which is the new norm and our tallest building,” said Jordi Wills, senior vice-president with the family-owned firm, adding that the layout has been designed for optimal product flow.

Wills Transfer also has facilities in Ottawa, Brockville, Cornwall and Perth. The Ingleside facility is slated to open this month and has secured three customers, said Wills. 

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The new warehouse is across the road from Lactalis Canada, which has signed on as the anchor tenant.

“We currently use Wills Transfer facilities in Brockville and Smith Falls … for warehousing and storage needs,” said Adam Harrison, logistics and planning manager with Lactalis Canada at Ingleside. “Lactalis Canada’s Ingleside site specifically uses the Brockville facility but will be moving over to the new Ingleside facility in the coming months.

“The warehouse’s proximity will provide enhanced flexibility and improved agility in the supply chain and also help reduce our environmental footprint by eliminating the close to one-hour transportation route to Brockville,” added Harrison. 

The $25-million facility was built to provide logistics services to businesses in the Cornwall area. 

“We are currently about 50 per cent sold in this building and we are still looking for new partners that need storage and inventory solutions. Lactalis is our primary or anchor customer, the second company is a packaging company, and the third customer is retail, and these are all committed customers. We’re very confident that we can make this a profitable branch by year two,” said Wills.

The Ingleside warehouse has 14 docks, a gated yard with security, as well as border security. A warehouse management system allows customer real-time access to inventory. 

“At this facility we’ll be handling raw materials and finished goods,” Wills said. “For Lactalis, we’ll have some shunting available, it’s pretty much our full solution for them, we help them manage their inventory. It won’t be our full-service offerings, but it will be a high-level integration,” said Wills, adding that the company has hired 10 employees locally and expects to hire another 10 next year.

This latest build brings Wills Transfer’s capacity in the region to more than one million square feet of storage and logistics space and is the first of a four-phase expansion project at Ingleside.

“In 2018 our journey for expansion began. We had been enjoying success since 2000 with a profitable and busy warehouse in Brockville, so our eyes and ears were open for other opportunities on (Hwy.) 401 as it continues to be the main corridor in Ontario for goods transportation,” said Wills.

“We ended up in Ingleside because of an amazing opportunity for 40 acres right off the 401,” he said.

The four-phase project will see 39,000 square feet added in phase II, followed by 252,036 square feet in phase III and capped with additional 234,631 square feet in the final phase.

“In the next five years we’ll do an addition in Ingleside, potentially a refrigerated warehouse. We only have a refrigerated warehouse in Smiths Falls. The current facility is temperature-controlled, not refrigerated,” explained Wills.

The company plans to continue expanding in Eastern Ontario and has purchased land in Carp.

“All our warehouses are at capacity so this allows us to build upon our brand and service offering and support more local and multinational companies with warehousing and fulfillment. We’re still very interested in Eastern Ontario, without being in Montreal or Toronto,” said Wills.

In Ingleside, the land was already zoned heavy industrial and was fully serviced. The township of South Stormont will be extending Industrial Drive northward as part of the agreement with Wills Transfer.

“The Wills Transfer development is a significant project for South Stormont and the largest of its kind in our community,” said Karl Doyle, director of building and planning with South Stormont. “With the introduction of Wills Transfer in our Ingleside employment lands, we are confident that the other economic development opportunities and spin-offs will present themselves in that quadrant.” 


“This is a major investment in (the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry) and we are thrilled that Wills Transfer chose to invest in SDG. This logistics facility will have a major impact on our region and will support other area businesses,” said Tara Kirkpatrick, manager of economic development with SDG.

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