If you can find any food, clothing or product you want or need, you can thank a truck driver. Canada's trucking industry was critical to keeping products flowing over the borders during the pandemic and continues to be an invaluable sector as Manitoba starts to build back its economy.
The Manitoba Trucking Association recently highlighted to local media just how invaluable the sector remains, noting that nearly one truck a minute crosses the Emerson-Pembina border crossing every day, every year. That is a lot of products going back and forth over just one crossing, which is the busiest west of the Detroit-Windsor crossing and accounts for $22 billion in trade.
For National Trucking Week (September 5-11, 2021), we've compiled a list of the things you should know about this key industry so you can help us share this economic success story.
1. Our province is home to some of Manitoba's largest private-sector employers and Canada’s top 100 for-hire trucking companies according to an annual ranking by Today’s Trucking Magazine.
2. Winnipeg is a strategic trucking hub located in the centre of North America. It is also home to CentrePort Canada, North America’s largest tri-modal inland port and Canada’s first designated foreign trade zone. More than 70 per cent of Manitoba’s trucking industry is headquartered at this location, including Bison and TransX.
Several trucking companies have expanded operations in CentrePort in recent years, including:
Freightliner Manitoba - Heavy-duty truck dealership recently opened 88,000 square-foot building (2020)
Rosenau Transport - 71,000 sq. ft. transportation and warehouse facility (2019)
JR Hall Transport - 15,000 sq. ft. transportation terminal (2019)
Len Dubois Trucking – Relocation and expansion of facility (2019)
4Tracks Ltd. - Expansion along CentrePort Canada Way (2019)
Bison Transport – Expansion (2019)
Canada Cartage - 46,000 sq. ft. regional hub (2016)
3. Winnipeg is just a one-hour drive (112 km) from the Canada-U.S. border with access to a population of 100 million within a 24-hour drive with approximately 400,000 commercial trucks crossing the Manitoba‑U.S. border each year.
4. Red River College’s Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology and Research Centre (VTRC) is home to the new MotiveLab, a 7,000 sq. ft. research facility focused on supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector. The facility has the ability to test vehicles at temperature extremes (between -40°C and +50°C) throughout the year, under full-load conditions and even simulates various ground topologies, such as slopes. It will facilitate research and technology development for companies and manufacturers to create the next generation of heavy-duty vehicles.
5. Winnipeg trucking companies such as Bison Transport are leading the way in innovation and sustainability. The company has just started a pilot project test-driving battery-electric Freightliner tractors — two of only 40 custom-built Freightliners currently on the road in North America. You can read more in this Winnipeg Free Press story.
We encourage you to share this story during National Trucking Week and take some time to thank our Manitoba trucking companies and drivers for keeping goods flowing. Learn more about Manitoba’s Transportation and Distribution sector here.