Transportation and Distribution
Winnipeg is the only major city between Thunder Bay and Vancouver with direct rail connections to the United States via three Class 1 carriers, and it also features rail access to the northern seaport of Churchill. The city boasts a celebrated airport—one of Canada’s most important airports for air cargo activity—and some of the country’s biggest trucking firms are 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.
There are more than 45,000 people employed in Winnipeg’s transportation and distribution sector, which is comprised of 5,800 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
- Located at the geographic centre of North America, Winnipeg is at the hub of several major continental and global transportation routes.
- Winnipeg is just 100 km (62 miles) from the U.S. border and is the major Canadian centre closest to Mexico
- Winnipeg is a 24-hour drive to a population of 100 million.
- 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.
- Winnipeg is the headquarters for nine of the top-ranking interprovincial general freight carriers.
- Over 1,000 for-hire rigs based in Winnipeg result in aggressive pricing and great service.
- 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.
- Winnipeg’s award-winning $585-million airport is the No. 1 dedicated freighter airport in Canada by number of flights (over 5,000 per year).
- Winnipeg’s airport boasts Canada’s third-highest daily air cargo volume, especially impressive since Winnipeg is Canada’s eighth-largest city.
- Winnipeg’s airport serves more than 3.6 million passengers, regulates about 138,000 aircraft movements and handles more than 175,000 metric tonnes of cargo annually.