The effect of a lagging economy can also effect companies that may not be players in the oil industry, but who have been involved in this industry through their own activities. One such company is Transcourt Tank Leasing, the Canadian leader in leasing and long-term rental of liquid and dry bulk tank trailers, that benefitted from the oil industry boom to feed its own growth for years. Rather than being knocked out by the ripple effect of the slowdown in Alberta, Transcourt has decided to export its know-how and expertise in the trailer industry south of the border and take advantage of the stronger American economy.
After opening its first U.S. office in Lansing, Illinois, business has been booming for the Oakville, ON, based company, so much so down South that it is now planning on opening a second office in Houston, TX and potentially a third business center in New Orleans. Transcourt does face stiff competition in the diversification of its activities but it does look like customers in the Unites-States appreciate what the Canadian company has to offer. Modifying its business model to include more customers in the United-States does also helps counter the downfall of the Canadian currency.
Transcourt is a clear example of what Canadian companies have to do to in these tough times in Canada. There are industrial sectors that do benefit from low oil prices and a weak currency, such as the air travel industry, but most companies have to be more creative. Diversification is not something that can’t be done without proper planning and analysis, especially when developing a new market in a foreign country, be it Canada’s strongest ally. Once the homework is done, the next step is to start with small steps, as Transcourt did in Illinois, and try to reach another level and open other markets in such a large country. Once oil prices rebound and the Canadian economy gets going again, Canadian companies such as Transcourt, that have found ways to prosper through difficult times, will only be stronger.
Source: Spring 2016, Western Canada Highway News