Winnipeg’s central location is easily accessible by air, road and railway. Via major airlines, Winnipeg is two hours from Calgary, Edmonton, Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver. The city is also conveniently located on the Trans-Canada and Yellowhead Highways, and connects directly with Interstate 29, 97 km (60 miles) north of the Canada / U.S. border.
Winnipeg is one of North America’s major air gateways, due to its central location relative to global flight paths.
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG), operated by the Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. (WAA), is the only international airport between Toronto and Calgary capable of handling large freighter aircraft. Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport is Canada’s longest serving international airport, open 24-hours and located 7 km (4.5 miles ) from the city centre.
YWG offers a broad range of passenger and cargo services including international carriers, commuter airlines, jet freight carriers, fixed-base operators and various charter operations. It serves nearly four million passengers, over 160,000 aircraft movements, and handles over 155,000 tonnes of cargo annually.
Private pilots and corporate fleets enjoy a high level of service, convenience, and comfort due to the extensive services and superior facilities offered by Esso Avitat, Shell AeroCentre and Fast Air Executive Aviation Services.
Winnipeg’s leaders have long recognized the significance of the airport to the city’s future. It is at the heart of a strong provincial transportation sector with the airport as a significant economic catalyst. Recent service enhancements include a new state-of-the-art terminal set to open in 2011, and improved trans-border air services and direct services to the U.K.
Winnipeg is the only major city between Vancouver and Thunder Bay with direct U.S. rail connections and is on the mainline of Canada’s two national rail systems: The Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Canadian National Railway Company (CN).
Both CP and CN maintain extensive and modern yards with major service facilities. CN’s Symington Yard has the capacity to handle over 3,000 cars per day. CP’s yard processes an average of 2,000 cars per day.
CN and CP operate centralized logistics centres. These centres provide a single point of contact for customer eBusiness and shipping documentation, as well as managing other centralized customer support requirements.
Both railways also have large intermodal facilities in Winnipeg. CN’s Winnipeg Intermodal Terminal is ideally located adjacent to CN’s main line through Winnipeg, and a major highway. The facility handles about 90,000 units coming into Winnipeg from across the continent, or leaving Winnipeg for export to international markets. CP’s intermodal terminal handles an average of 35,000 units per year.
CP has a network of 24 intermodal terminals in Canada and the U.S. The railway also has eight border crossings between Canada and the U.S., offering ready access to our markets in both countries. CP operates container terminals and additional handling facilities to serve Midwest U.S. centres, including Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
CN spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans and Mobile and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Superior, Green Bay, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis and Jackson with connections to all points in North America.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, with direct connections to almost three quarters of the U.S. and service into Mexico, has terminal facilities in Winnipeg under the name of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Manitoba Inc.
Churchill is Manitoba’s northern seaport. OmniTRAX operates the Hudson Bay Railway, a short line railroad connecting The Pas and Churchill, moving commodities such as grains, ores and wood products through the seaport to Northern and Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Winnipeg is the headquarters for several top ranking inter-provincial general freight carriers. Trucking operators with head offices in Winnipeg include:
- Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd.
- Bison Transport Services Ltd.
- Custom Transport
- Direct Integrated Transportation Inc.
- G2 Logistics Inc.
- Gardewine North
- Kleysen Transport Ltd.
- Paul’s Hauling Ltd.
- Payne Transportation Inc.
- Reimer Express Lines Ltd.
- TransX Ltd.
- Winnipeg Motor Express Inc.
Source: Manitoba Highways & Government Services
The Manitoba Department of Highways and Transportation has identified roads which are defined as major provincial highways. Major provincial highways are designated on the basis of their importance as regional, provincial, interprovincial or international carriers. All designated major provincial highways are listed below according to the degree of access they provide to Winnipeg.
Major Highway Systems:
- No. 1 Trans-Canada (east-west) - direct connection to all major urban centres in Canada
- Manitoba No. 75 South to connect with U.S. Interstate No. 29 and Minnesota No. 94 (Border crossing - Emerson)
- Manitoba No. 59 to connect with Minnesota No. 59 and U.S. No. 2 (Border Crossing - Tolstoi)
The following additional major provincial highways provide direct access to Winnipeg:
- PTH 2, PTH 3, PTH 6, PTH 7, PTH 8, PTH 9, PTH 15, PTH 100/101 (Perimeter Highway)
The following major provincial highways provide indirect access to Winnipeg:
- PTH 12, PTH 16, PTH 44, PTH 67
The following major provincial highways are remote, however, they may still provide limited access to Winnipeg:
- PTH 5, PTH 10, PTH 11, PTH 14, PTH 39, PTH 60, PTH 68, PTH 83
Winnipeg is centrally located in North America therefore we have the shortest average shipping distances from coast to coast, in all directions.
Transportation & Distribution Sector Brief
Winnipeg Transportation & Distribution
Winnipeg has been a centre for transportation and distribution across North America for over a century. Winnipeg is located at the geographic centre of North America with multi-modal distribution capabilities by air, rail, and road and short-distance connections to Asia and Europe via polar routes. Winnipeg features rail access to the northern seaport of Churchill, the 24-hour Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and headquarters for some of Canada’s biggest trucking firms. Winnipeg also has more transportation sector employees per capita than any other city in the country.
Shipping Distances from Winnipeg