Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2007.
The underground warehousing facility, called Subtropolis, represents a unique initiative to take advantage of the space made available by a former limestone mine. The facility that spans 4.5 square kilometers has several advantages:
- Temperature stability. Because the facility is underground the ambient temperature is in the range of 18 to 21 degrees Celsius year-round. This makes it highly suitable for any activity requiring the warehousing of temperature-controlled products since utility costs are at least 50% cheaper than a regular above-ground warehouse. For low-temperature warehousing that is part of cold chain logistics, the utility costs are even lower; in the range of 70%.
- Security. The facility is underground and only accessible through a limited number of entrances, conferring a high level of security against theft and damage for the warehoused cargo. This is a reason why the United States Postal Services is renting space in the facility to house its collectible stamps division.
It is also a designated Free Trade Zone by the US Customs Office, allowing tenants to defer taxes on imports.