Manitoba’s provincial government, the federal government and the private sector began collaborating and working in unison dating back to 2008 to fund the CentrePort Project in Winnipeg with a total combined initial investment of just over $212 million. It officially opened in November, 2009 and continues with a widespread expansion.
The CentrePort – Manitoba’s inland port – is ideally geographically situated to serve as a major North American hub, connecting businesses to world markets.
Located on Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, the initiative involves using the airport and surrounding land as a hub to import goods from Asia and Europe and then distributing those same goods throughout North America by highway, rail and air to their final destinations.
Developing Manitoba’s inland port has the potential to grow Manitoba’s economy by leaps and bounds by taking much better advantage of strong transportation assets and the province’s strategic, centralized location.
CentrePort Canada offers investors a wide range of savings, including combined federal and provincial/state corporate income taxes that are 33 per cent lower than in the United States.
The primary intent of building here is due to Winnipeg’s geographic centralized location in North America. It’s an outlet to substantially boost economic development, with added hope a dynamic partnership will evolve between the two levels of government and the private sector that could lead to additional joint projects in the future.
Additionally, being part of Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) leverages Winnipeg’s major intermodal transportation and trade systems.
CentrePort includes the use of 20,000 acres northwest of the airport for a gigantic trucking and rail depot linked to runways with aircraft coming and going from all over the globe. There remains more than 2,000 acres of land ready for new development and about 420,000 square feet of industrial space available in existing warehouse facilities.
Taking on a major portion of the overall construction is Contempora Steel Builders. As a local Winnipeg design build contractor George Constantinides, President of Contempora Steel Builders, has confirmed to The Canadian Business Journal that there is a huge buzz in the expansion of the transportation industry within the Centre Port development. Contempora Steel Builders has just completed an 18,000 square foot cross dock facility for a Ridsdale Transport Ltd., expanding into the area from Saskatoon. The company is also building a new 48,000 square-foot facility for Fort Garry Fire Trucks; a Winnipeg based fire truck manufacturer as well as a new 38,000 square-foot facility for Trailer Wizards Ltd.; a national semi-trailer rental, service and storage company.
“Centre Port is definitely attracting the attention of both local and out of province expansion within the Winnipeg transportation industry,” says Constantinides.