Manitoba's Strategic Advantages: Market Access, Transportation and Infrastructure

Manitoba has excellent connections to the U.S. Midwest, Asia and Europe


Manitoba’s position in the centre of North America makes it a key part of the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor, connecting Canada to a central North American market of 100 million people.

Transportation facilities and location connect Manitoba to the world via rail, road, air and sea.

  • Winnipeg is the only city in Western Canada besides Vancouver, on the main line for both the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway. It also has three rail links to the United States. Modern rail yards in Winnipeg can handle more than 5,500 cars per day, and intermodal terminals can process more than 200,000 containers per year.
  • The truck transportation capital of Western Canada, Manitoba has more than 1,000 for-hire trucking companies that operate either interprovincially or internationally. Two of Canada's ten largest employers in for-hire trucking are headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On average, about 900 trucks cross the Manitoba-U.S. border every day.
  • Open 24 hours per day and only seven km from downtown, Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport serves approximately 136,000 aircraft per year. Richardson International Airport is one of the Canada’s largest cargo airports, handling over 170,000 tonnes of air cargo per year. Expansion plans are underway for a new terminal building at the airport, to be completed in 2011.
  • Churchill, Manitoba’s ocean port on Hudson Bay, is only 3,380 nautical miles from Liverpool, U.K. Extended shipping seasons on Hudson Bay are encouraging use of the northern port, as are public and private sector investments in the port and rail line. The port has four deep-sea berths, able to accommodate Panamax class vessels. Throughput capacity of the port is estimated at over 1 million tonnes of grain per season.

Manitoba’s communication, transportation and public service infrastructure allow our province’s globally competitive businesses to concentrate on what they do best.

  • Bell MTS, the Manitoba-based telecommunications company operates a network that provides access to high-speed Internet to 85 per cent of Manitoba households, making Manitoba one of the most broadband-enabled provinces in the country. With three fibre rings in Winnipeg and one in Brandon, and 100 per cent digital switching throughout the province, MTS allows businesses in every corner of Manitoba to be only a mouse click from the world.
  • MTS launched a 3G wireless network in Winnipeg and Brandon in 2006, and has recently launched a new, 4G wireless network, which provides high-speed data speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The new 4G network is available to 97 per cent of Manitobans and provides customers with extensive and reliable coverage and lightning fast data speeds.
  • A competitive telecommunications environment, with several alternative long-distance carriers, keeps rates low in Manitoba and our location in the Central Time Zone gives Manitoba business-hours access to east and west coasts.

Manitoba’s roads link to the north, south, east and west

  • Provincial Highways 75 and 59 lead one hour south to link with the U.S. National Highway System via North Dakota and Minnesota, providing access to a mid-continent trade and transportation corridor that connects Manitoba to a central North American market of 100 million people. Highway 75 is twinned to the U.S. border. Goods can be shipped by truck from Canada to Mexico and all points between, via US Interstate highways I-29 and I-35.
  • East-west access is via the Trans Canada Highway 1 and the northern Yellowhead Highway. The Trans-Canada Highway is fully twinned from the Ontario Boundary to the Saskatchewan Boundary.
  • Major border crossings to the U.S. are open 24 hours per day, and an automated border crossing at Emerson, Manitoba, enables standard wait times of 10 minutes or less even as it is the 2nd busiest land border crossing in Western Canada, and the 5th busiest nationally.
  • In 2007, Manitoba announced an unprecedented investment of $4 billion in a 10-year plan to renew Manitoba’s highways.

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Manitoba's central location in North America makes it a key part of the Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor, connecting to a market of 100 million people.