Key Industries

Transportation and Distribution

Winnipeg is the hub and transportation powerhouse of the Canadian prairies. It is a tri-modal city (air, truck, rail) and the only major city between Thunder Bay and Vancouver with direct rail connections to the United States via three Class 1 carriers; CN, CP and BNSF. The city boasts a celebrated airport — one of Canada’s most important airports for air cargo activity. Some of the country’s biggest trucking firms are also headquartered here.

Parked at the intersection of key trade and transportation corridors heading in all directions, Winnipeg is home to CentrePort Canada. The only trimodal inland port in the country to provide foreign trade zone advantages, this 20,000-acre initiative expedites the movement of goods economically and efficiently to North American, Asian and European markets.

So whether you’re in the transportation industry or you just need to ship products fast, your business will grow farther in Winnipeg.

Vital Stats

More than 40,000 people employed in Winnipeg’s (CMA) transportation and distribution sector, which is comprised of approximately 6,200 business establishments active in warehousing and distribution; logistics; air, road, and rail transportation; and local transit and distribution. This highly skilled labour force is complemented by one of Canada’s leading supply chain management education programs offered at the University of Manitoba.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the congruence of U.S. and Canadian laws and regulations help firms effectively serve U.S. markets from Winnipeg.

As a foreign trade zone, CentrePort Canada offers duty deferral and goods and services tax (GST) exemption to qualifying businesses.  Customs duties normally paid on goods imported into Canada can be deferred or recovered. Goods can be imported to CentrePort Canada for processing, then re-exported outside of the country on a GST-free basis

Fast Facts

Geographic Advantages

  • Located at the geographic centre of North America, Winnipeg is at the hub of several major continental and global transportation routes.
  • Winnipeg is just 112 km (70 miles) from the U.S. border and is one of the closest major Canadian centres to Mexico
  • Winnipeg is a 24-hour drive to a population greater than 100 million.

Rail Advantages

  • Winnipeg is one of only two Canadian cities with three Class 1 railways—CN, CP and BNSF.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway operate intermodal terminals in Winnipeg.

Road Advantages

  • Winnipeg is the headquarters for nine of the top-ranking interprovincial general freight carriers.
  • The Manitoba trucking industry operates more than 15,000 power units and 20,000 trailers.
  • There are approximately 475 for-hire trucking companies headquartered in Manitoba
  • Winnipeg based Bison Transport has been rated the best Trucking Company to work for in Canada
  • CentrePort Canada Way makes it easier for truckers to achieve the desired “five minutes to 90 km (55 miles) per hour” goal for moving cargo.

Air Advantages

  • Winnipeg's James Richardson International airport is the No. 2 dedicated freighter airport in Canada by number of flights (over 7,000 in 2016).
  • In 2016, Winnipeg’s airport boasts Canada’s fifth-highest daily air cargo tonnage; impressive considering Winnipeg is Canada’s seventh-largest metropolitan area.
  • In 2016, Winnipeg’s airport serves more than 4.0 million passengers, regulates about 116,000 aircraft movements and handles more than 84,000 metric tonnes of cargo.

  • 100km

    Winnipeg is located 100km (62 miles) from U.S. border

  • 45,000

    Employees (CMA)

  • 475+

    For-hire trucking companies (MB)

  • 7,000+

    Freighter flights per year

YES! Winnipeg Investors

Great-West Lifeco

Great-West Lifeco Great-West Lifeco

Winnipeg-based Great-West Lifeco and its subsidiaries have over $1.2 trillion in assets worldwide. The company employs 3,000 people in Manitoba.

Economic Development Winnipeg

Suite 810, One Lombard Place
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3B 0X3

Report Builder