Did You Know?
Windsor has rich layers of concentrated salt, located approximately 950 feet below ground level.
The Windsor-Essex Region is one of North America's leading transportation hubs. Situated on the Detroit River, the natural boundary between Canada and the U.S., our strategic location provides a sophisticated system of expressways, rail, air, and deepwater port facilities, a railway tunnel, and vehicular bridge and tunnel to service the heart of North America. A large and affluent economy, 125 million people, 90% of the vehicle assembly plants and 60% of both Canadian and U.S. manufacturing capabilities are all concentrated within one day's trucking time of Windsor-Essex Regional manufacturers.
The Region's infrastructure and access to the U.S. market is second to none with rapid commercial pre-clearance on the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel or with the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry service. Currently the Detroit-Windsor crossings are estimated to handle at least one third of the total trade between Canada and the United States. Over $300 million in goods cross the Windsor/Detroit border each day. Over 10,000 trucks cross the Ambassador Bridge every day.
The Windsor-Essex Region is serviced by well-maintained expressway connectors, provincial highways and Canada's main street, the Macdonald Cartier Freeway (Highway 401). All routes interconnect with the U.S. interstate system via the four-lane Ambassador Bridge or Detroit/Windsor Tunnel. Business and industrial parks are strategically located throughout the highway system for access to fast and convenient service.
A highly sophisticated trucking industry is well established in the Region, providing competitive rates and numerous alternatives for the cost efficient movement of freight destined for local, national and international markets. Locally more than 50 major trucking firms provide bond, warehousing, forwarding, piggyback, customs clearance, trailer shipping services, and an association with the Detroit commercial trucking zone to ensure full-service capabilities. With the introduction of zero inventory manufacturing by major auto companies, "Just In Time" trucking originated in the Windsor-Essex-Detroit marketplace and remains the standard on which manufacturers rely today.
Transit Windsor provides regular bus service throughout the City of Windsor and a small portion of the Town of LaSalle, with a service area of 314 square kilometres. Buses operate from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 8:00 a.m. to midnight on weekends and holidays. Schedule and route information are available at the Transit Windsor web site.
Windsor Airport has a runway length of 9,000 feet, and can handle any size of aircraft, including Boeing 747s, the Airbus-380, the Russian Antonov 124 and 225 (the largest freight aircraft in the world - which frequents the Region), and has even landed the Concorde. It also handles 125,000 to 150,000 passengers per year, and provides daily commuter flights connecting through Toronto to major Canadian cities, the U.S. and Europe.
Other major Regional airports include Detroit City Airport, Detroit Metro Airport (ranked 11th in the United States in terms of passenger traffic according to Airports Council International), Willow Run (which is dedicated to airfreight services) and Oakland County Regional all within a 45-minute driving radius of Windsor. Detroit Metro is also a hub for Northwest Airlines.
The Essex Terminal Railway (ETR) trackage extends from Windsor, ON to Amherstburg, ON serving lumber transfer yards, major agricultural and chemical plants, machinery, steel, grain, salt and scrap industry, a Great Lake marine terminal accommodating ocean vessels, and a large automotive parts production center. Because of the connections to CN, CP, Norfolk Southern and CSXT, the customers of the ETR are able to access any point in the rail networks of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Rail traffic to and from the U.S. is accommodated in a twin track tunnel that provides the fastest, most uncongested, easiest grade, lowest cost method of moving rail cars from Chicago to New York City via Niagara Falls.
The Port of Windsor
The Region can accommodate deepwater ships of up to 1,000 feet in length in any of the 14 deepwater berths on the Canadian side for lake freighters and ocean-going vessels. Altogether, these terminals handle over 5-million tonnes of cargo annually. There is also more than 16,000 feet of berthing space, 449,000 square feet of warehousing and 220 acres of outdoor storage available. Port Windsor is one of the top 15 ports in Canada and can handle any marine logistics requirements.
Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry
The Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry crosses the Detroit River on a scheduled basis, starting at 7:00 a.m., with only a 20 minute crossing time. All customs clearances are completed on-site. The Truck Ferry is the only method of crossing the Detroit River for trucks carrying hazardous materials.
Customs and Imports/Exports
The Canadian government levies an import duty on some goods entering Canada. Opportunities exist for market entry and business development under the North American Free Trade Agreement. There are more than 30 customs house brokers experienced in all facets of transportation, import and export tariffs and procedures, as well as knowledgeable Canada Customs personnel.