CentrePort Canada continues to grow and is a busy hub for industrial activity and investment. In 2021, the inland port helped boost Manitoba’s economy.
At 20,000 acres, CentrePort Canada is North America’s largest trimodal inland port, providing companies with excellent access to a variety of transportation options, fully-serviced industrial land and existing infrastructure that supports future growth.
Despite the pandemic, CentrePort Canada lands located within the R.M. of Rosser, have seen significant sales and construction activity throughout the last twelve months. More than $40 million of development permits have been issued (as of November 30, 2021), 300,000 sq. ft. of new construction is underway and land sales continue to outperform expectations.
In addition, the City of Winnipeg released its preliminary 2022 budget, which included $20 million to support growth and development in CentrePort South. This commitment by the city is an important first step in engaging all levels of government to commit funding for water and wastewater infrastructure in the area that will help to fully realize the employment potential of these lands and attract investment.
CentrePort Canada’s year in review
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from 2021:
1. 4Tracks Ltd., a local transportation company, broke ground on a $12.5 million expansion in the heart of CentrePort Canada. The company experienced significant growth over the last five years since it outgrew its space on Eagle Drive. 4Tracks is building a 27,000 square foot corporate headquarters and terminal at CentrePort.
2. AVAAL Business Park entered the market in May 2021, the park comprises three multi-tenant industrial buildings with space for lease totaling 165,000 sq. ft.
3. BrookPort Business Park has become home to at least a dozen new companies over the last year, including: Akal Truck & Trailer Centre, Benipal Brothers, Highway King Class 1 Training Centre, Longview Logistics, Natt Enterprises, Pluto Transport, RIG Logistics, Sailors Group, Sandhu Farms, SR Truck & Trailer Repair, TJ Truck & Trailer Wash and Ayr Motor Express.
4.CentrePort Canada Rail Park, a 665-acre rail-served industrial development, is gaining momentum and generating significant market interest. This project is expected to break ground in spring 2022.
5. Merit Functional Foods opened a 94,000 sq. ft. pea and canola protein processing plant in January 2021. Merit is redefining plant protein and is the only commercial-scale facility capable of producing food-grade canola protein in the world.
6. MMI Asset Management unveiled the first of three multi-tenant industrial buildings in Steele Business Park, a 17-acre industrial park with multi-tenant space for lease. The first tenant, Mercury Specialty Products, will expand its presence in Manitoba, occupying 18,000 sq. ft. of space in Phase 1. Built by Concord Projects, these three buildings will bring 220,000 sq. ft. of industrial space to the market in Rosser.
7. National Research Council of Canada’s $62 million advanced manufacturing research facility is nearing completion and close to opening its doors. The facility will focus on research in additive manufacturing and sustainable packaging.
8. Nutrien broke ground on a 100,000 sq. ft. distribution centre in BrookPort Business Park. This facility is nearing completion and will be operational by the end of 2021.
9. O Foods Ltd. is a $94 million oat processing facility under construction in Paterson GlobalFoods’ premises. The mill will process 125,000 metric tonnes of oats from Western Canadian farmers, with expansion plans to reach 250,000 metric tonnes.
10. Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is fully constructed. Built by PCL, the 85,000 sq. ft. museum came in $5 million under budget and was finished ahead of schedule. The museum is set to open in March 2022.
11. TFI International is expanding in CentrePort. Construction is underway on a 70,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution facility adjacent to its current location on Oak Point Highway.
What’s coming in 2022 and beyond
Looking ahead to 2022, the inland port continues to draw interest from external markets, particularly as a preferred location for value-added agribusiness production facilities, advanced manufacturing companies, and e-commerce, warehousing and distribution services.
Awareness of Manitoba as a location for investment increased as companies look to stabilize their supply chains, minimize disruptions to their business and source both customers and suppliers from within their local market.
Other near-term opportunities exist with the further development of the T-MEC Corridor and through the recently announced acquisition of Kansas City Southern by CP Rail with the combined entity named Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). The proposed T-MEC corridor will begin in Mexico at the new seaport at Mazatlán on the Pacific coast, and connect to Monterrey, before crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, passing through Dallas, Tulsa, Chicago and ending in Winnipeg. The CPKC rail network will connect Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, creating a 20,000-mile integrated rail corridor ending in Winnipeg.
These upcoming developments will allow companies to reduce transportation costs, eliminate offloading and reloading of goods in transit, and better manage supply chains. The CentrePort Canada Rail Park, set to begin construction in spring 2022, is perfectly positioned for companies that manage part of their supply chain by rail.
Strategically located at the hub of multiple trading corridors, CentrePort Canada is ideally situated to support companies as they re-evaluate their supply chain and manufacturing activities. It has existing transportation infrastructure, with industrial land available and a special planning area in place to expedite approvals. These world-class features make CentrePort Canada an ideal location for companies looking for North American locations to expand and flourish.
Diane Gray is the President & CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc.
Diane is a recognized leader with extensive experience in business development and trade. She previously worked for the Province of Manitoba from 1995 to 2009 and simultaneously served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Federal-Provincial and International Relations, and Trade. Diane serves on various boards including the Manitoba Technology Accelerator, MITACS, the Canada West Foundation, the Associates of the Asper School of Business, and the World Trade Centre Winnipeg.