I am often asked when we ship large structural precast components throughout Western Canada how we manage to compete. This is a really good question as there is an assumption that being on an Island insulates you geographically from the lower mainland and the rest of civilization & thus renders one uncompetitive. Untrue.
My first response is that Nanaimo is closer than you would think. We are only 50 kilometers from the largest City in the Province and BC Ferries, Seaspan and barges are back and forth daily. Another point…the truck is off, no fuel consumption or tire wear. Arguably a point for sustainability…one engine on a ship hauling multiple trucks.
The second response is even more interesting. The climate in Nanaimo is such that we require very little heat in the winter to produce concrete and manufacture precast products. Compare this to a colder climate, like Edmonton for example and you can see why the costs are less on Vancouver Island.
Both the last 2 points coupled with available human capital on the Island and suddenly the Georgia Straight becomes an exciting advantage to all the markets we serve throughout Western Canada. Yet we still enjoy Island life with less traffic, constant ocean views and endless parks to hike, stroll or train for that 10k on your bucket list.
How do we compete? Very well actually. It might surprise you to know that Prince George has been the strongest market for Nanaimo Precast Ltd. the last 2 years running. If you are in the market for precast products, check us out. You might be pleasantly surprised at the numbers.
Where do we really shine? If you need insulated or uninsulated building panels and the project is facing either a very tight timeline and/or confined site conditions, we have the solution. In a world where escalating sub-trade costs do to demand are outside the budget, precast is looking more attractive and sexy by the day.
A final note to the customer who ordered precast panels for downtown Vancouver and was genuinely surprised at the reasonable cost & quality of the product. Thanks for the business!