Manufacturing in Manitoba


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A SUPPLEMENT TO THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS VIEW ONLINE AT CENTREPORT CANADA CONTINUED ON P2 S AT U R D AY, M A R C H 28, 2020 Helping to build business from the ground up. We've been helping to grow Manitoba businesses for decades. To learn more, visit or talk to an ACU Business Account Manager at 204.258.3385. L ocated in the heart of the continent, CentrePort Canada gains momentum as an important inland port for Manitoba and beyond. President and CEO Diane Gray explains the concept behind its success. "CentrePort Canada is North America's largest tri-modal inland port, with direct access to national and international rail, truck and air cargo operations. The 20,000-acre transportation hub offers prime industrial land for any size of development," she said. "The types of businesses located at CentrePort include companies in manufacturing and assembly, warehousing and distribution, agribusiness, food processing and packaging, and transportation-related logistics." Key clusters within the manufacturing sector at CentrePort include aerospace, composites, agri-food processing and agricultural equipment. "The inland port's strategic location at the intersection of multiple trade and transportation routes, ample available industrial land, proximity to a skilled labour force, and the ability for companies to access multiple modes of transportation from a single site makes CentrePort an ideal location for manufacturers of all sizes," Gray said. "CentrePort's tri-modal transportation options are key in helping manufacturers to manage their supply chain activities." The inland port is a significant trucking hub with more than 70 per cent of Manitoba's trucking industry located at CentrePort, she added. "The Winnipeg Richardson International Airport offers 24/7 operations, which allows for overnight delivery of parts," Gray said, "and the CentrePort Canada Rail Park, a 665-acre development that combines industrial infrastructure with access to rail and highway corridors, is being planned." Many well-known companies, such as Winpak, MacDon and Boeing, established operations at CentrePort long before the area was designated an inland port. Other companies are seeing the benefits to being located within the inland port, such as ease of access to multiple modes of transportation, and are choosing to establish operations at CentrePort. Manufacturers located on site include Scheller Metal Fabricators, Cassidy Manufacturing, Tiber River Naturals, Bee Maid Honey, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and Fort Garry Fire Trucks. "Fort Garry Fire Trucks moved to CentrePort seven years ago and did so based on the excellent access to the shipping lanes, the close proximity to the airport, and the roadways leading out of Winnipeg," said marketing manager Trevor Robb. "Our customers can fly into the city and have a short drive to our facility. Our vendors are close by, especially now that one of our commercial chassis manufacturers has moved in next door to us, and when we ship out completed fire trucks for delivery, the ease of direct highway access out of Winnipeg is terrific." Over the last year, CentrePort has seen an unprecedented level of activity at the inland port, with more than 500 acres currently involved in active development. Many major projects are currently under construction or recently completed, including Rosenau Transport with its 71,000-square-foot transportation and warehouse facility on 11.8 acres. I N D U S T R Y B O O M S AT I N L A N D P O R T BY JENNIFER MCFEE SUPPORT MANITOBA MANUFACTURERS In total, more than 1,400 manufacturing companies operate in Winnipeg and directly employ upwards of 42,000 people, according to Statistics Canada. Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of Manitoba Cham- bers of Commerce, notes that manufacturing is an important part of the economy across the entire province, not just within city limits. "I would consider it to be one of our stronger sectors, whether it's bus manufacturing, farm ma- chinery, aerospace or product development. These are key employers and key drivers of the Manitoba economy that are absolutely critical," he said. "When you look outside the perimeter, communities like Winkler and Steinbach have big manufacturing sectors as well. It takes place in all parts of the province, and one of the benefits is that it's so diversified. They've done a really good job of continuing to modernize manufacturing." With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting manufacturers, along with many other sectors, Davidson encourages members of the public to show their support for local companies. "The entire business industry is being impacted by COVID-19. There's no question about that. We're hearing about layoffs in virtually every sector across the province. The reality is that we know this will pass and it's going to be key for a number of sectors to be able to rebound from this," he said. "I expect that the Manitoba business community will rally. The manufacturing industry will continue to be strong and I think there will be continued job needs. We just need to get through this current situation." Now, more than ever, it's important to stand behind Manitoba manufacturers to ensure their continued success. "Businesses need to make sure they have the products and resources to come out stronger on the other side," Davidson said. "The community can continually be supportive by buying products online and making investments, if they can. It's going to be a bit more challenging at this time, but we need to make sure that we're supportive of these Manitoba companies." Manufacturing remains one of Manitoba's top industries, even during the uncertainty of recent times. BY JENNIFER MCFEE Chuck Davidson President and CEO of Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Clockwise from top left: Industrial welding is one of the traditional manufacturing-related jobs taught at MITT. P H OTO BY DAV I D L I P N OW S K I . A PTI transformer is delivered to a location near Jasper, Alta. P R OV I D E D BY P T I T R A N S F O R M E R S . Fort Garry Fire Trucks moved to CentrePort seven years ago. P H OTO BY T R E VO R R O B B .

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