Global Logistics

The Detroit/Toledo/Windsor trade corridor stands ready to assist you with moving goods throughout the Midwest. The region has the capacity, skills and world class infrastructure to move products effectively and efficiently throughout the Midwest and North America.  In 2014, the Detroit metropolitan area was the 5th largest export market in the United States, with merchandise shipments totaling $50.3 billion.

Our airports offer non-stop flights to more than 160 destinations. Wayne County’s Detroit Metropolitan Airport serves as a major hub for Delta Airlines. Four of the seven Class I railroads operating more than 3,600 miles of track can access all North American markets. The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest land border crossing in North America.

The Detroit/Windsor border is the richest border in the world with more than $340 million in trade crossing each day.

Economic Impact of the Detroit/Windsor Border

  • U.S. trade with Canada averages $1.5B per day, more than the U.S. trade with the entire European Union.
  • Michigan accounts for more than 50 percent of the U.S. trade with Canada, with almost all of that handled in Detroit & Port Huron.
  • In 2015, Canadians and Michigan residents crossed the border almost 7.0 million times.
  • In 2007, approximately 3,500 Canadian health care workers commuted across the border for work daily.
  • In 2014, the Detroit MSA exported $50.3 billion, accounting for more than 70% of Michigan’s total merchandise exports.

Source: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

Logistics Advantages

The Detroit/Toledo/Windsor trade corridor has a unique advantage in that it’s an international trade corridor boasting trade cooperation on both sides of the Detroit River.  The Detroit port sits 988 miles from Halifax and 618 miles from Montreal making our region ideal for entering into the United States and moving goods throughout the Midwest.

New and expanding companies need a well connected and efficient transportation system. The Detroit region serves as the busiest northern border crossing into Canada and sits along the St. Lawrence Seaway. The region is centrally located in one of the largest economic and trade corridors, moving more than $213 billion in 2012 through its borders. The region is home to a world class transportation, logistics, and distribution center, shown through Regional Detroit businesses’ exporting of more than $5.03 billion in 2014, which accounted for 71.6% of Michigan’s merchandise exports.

Total exports from Michigan helped contribute to the United States’ record-setting value of goods and services exports in 2014. Goods exports from the state of Michigan supported over 270,000 jobs, with the Detroit region supporting nearly 75% of these.

Top 5 Export Sectors in the Detroit Region, 2014
SectorValue (in billions)Market Share (%)
Transportation Equipment$29.859.3
Machinery Manufacturing$3.57.0
Computer and Electronic Products$3.36.6
Electrical Equipment, Appliances$3.36.5
Fabricated Metal Products$2.24.5
Source: International Trade Administration
Top Export Markets in the Detroit Region, 2014
CountryValue (in billions)Market Share (%)
Saudi Arabia$1.83.7
United Arab Emirates$1.12.1
Source: International Trade Administration

Intermodal Assets

The Detroit region’s transportation, distribution and logistics industry is supported by seven international border crossings and ranks as the busiest northern border crossing in North America. Within the region there are two bridges, two rail tunnels, two truck ferries and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. In addition, the region is supported by nine airports and air fields, three marine ports, eight rail yards.  In addition, the region’s 11 interstates reach from Canada to Mexico via Detroit.  The Detroit, Toledo and Windsor ports are among the largest along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Water Ports

  • The Detroit Port is the second largest customs port of entry in the United States by value of goods.
  • Annual, the Detroit Port over sees more than 17 million tons of cargo at 29 private and public terminals. High-grade steel products, coal, iron ore and cement are some of the products shipped via the Port. The Port of Detroit is ranked the third largest steel-handling port in the United States.
  • The Port of Windsor is made of more than 13 miles of shoreline and is the third largest Canadian Great Lakes port.
  • The Toledo Port is comprised of 15 marine terminals, which handle nearly all-types of commodity transported via waterways.

The trade region is supported by 11 interstates that reach from Quebec, Canada to Mexico and connect our region to both the east and west coasts. Within Southeast Michigan there are nearly 4,900 truck route miles of highways and roads.

With truck traffic expected to double by 2020, the Detroit trade corridor is positioned to assist trucking companies with lowering their costs associated with truck delays in high congested markets such as Chicago.


  • Detroit and Port Huron are the second and fourth busiest border crossings in North America.
  • Roughly 9,500 trucks cross the Ambassador Bridge each business day.
  • In 2013, 43.1% of U.S./Canadian truck trade crossed through Michigan’s borders. Providing safe and efficient borders increases trade opportunities.

Through service agreements, all major railroads serve the trade corridor and are able to ship throughout North America.

  • The Detroit Region is served by four of the seven national Class I railroads in the United States, unique to only 1/3 of the United States.
  • There are more than 3,600 miles of track in Michigan and 5,200 miles of track in Ohio.
  • Three of the four railroads have intermodal terminals in regional Detroit.
  • Toledo ranks as one of the Top 5 rail hubs in the United States.

The economic region is home to 9 airports with more than $1.1 billion annually in cargo and nonstop service to more than 160 destinations.

  • Within the 10-county Detroit region there are 5 major airports and several airfields.
  • Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) ranks as the 12th busiest airport in North America and 17th in the World for airport operations. Detroit Metro annually has more movements than JKF or Laguardia in New York and Boston Logan Airport in Massachusetts.
  • Toledo Express Airport has the only heavy freight air sorting complex in North America and offers weekly cargo flights to Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany and the Middle East.
  • DH Schenker‘s, formerly BAX Global, global hub is located at Toledo Express Airport.

Intermodal Facilities

  • There are nine intermodal freight facilities spread throughout the Detroit region.
  • More than 70% of the freight traffic in the region is handled by the trucking industry.

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