Inland ports are specialized locations developed to serve intermodal transportation networks. Ordinarily located along Class I railroad lines and major road networks, inland ports offer intermodal transfer facilities and international trade processing and other services. They may be linked to specific seaports. Distribution centres and other warehousing are generally co-located with inland ports, even on site.
In Canada, each inland port must address its own unique characteristics, depending on the peculiarities of its geographical locations, the transportation patterns and infrastructures in its region, the nature of the cargos it handles, and the economic strengths and weaknesses of its surrounding communities. Because each is unique, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ series of prescriptions to follow. The only certainty is that inland port managers have to tailor their offerings to the changing needs of the shippers, logistics providers and other businesses that make up their ever-expanding community of stakeholders.