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Economic, Infrastructure

One of Canada’s largest transportation companies first tenant in CentrePort’s new rail park

Myron Love
One of Canada’s largest transportation companies first tenant in CentrePort’s new rail park
FASTFRATE GROUP - Fastfrate Group, one of the country’s largest privately held transportation and supply chain providers has been announced as a major tenant for CentrePort Canada’s Rail park in Winnipeg. The groundbreaking ceremony on the $55-million, 140,000-square-feet of facilities on 25 acres took place on Aug. 1.

Work is underway on the next stage of development at CentrePort Canada, Winnipeg’s 20,000-acre inland port and Foreign trade zone.

This new phase, CentrePort Canada Rail Park, is situated on 665 acres in the Rural Municipality of Rosser and solidifies its status as the only inland port in the country with direct access to tri-modal transportation – extensive truck, rail and air cargo operations.

The first tenant to break ground in the industrial rail park, being developed by Focus Equities Inc., is Fastfrate Group, one of Canada’s largest privately held transportation and supply chain providers. The groundbreaking ceremony on the $55-million, 140,000-square-feet of facilities on 25 acres took place on Aug. 1.

Fastfrate Group is comprised of five companies operating out of 44 terminals and final mile hubs across Canada and the United States. The company has been in business in Winnipeg for over 50 years.  

Ron Tepper, Fastfrate’s executive chairman, pointed out in a press release the groundbreaking project “will mark the first occasion where Fastfrate Group of companies will be strategically co-located and jointly operated from a single shared site”

The new facility will be able to house Fastfrate constituent companies ASL Distribution; Canada Drayage Inc., the only national drayage company in Canada, which manages the transport of sea containers to and from major ports, rail yards and distribution centres across the country and into the U.S.; and making its debut in the Manitoba market Challenger Motor Freight, one of North America’s largest cross-border truckload carriers and logistics providers.

Challenger, Tepper points out, transports goods across North America as well as internationally with a full range of transportation, logistics and managed supply chain services. The company currently manages 500 to 700 border crossings a day nationally and plans to grow their Manitoba cross-border business from the new site in the Rail Park.

Manny Calandrino, Fastfrate’s CEO, adds “the choice of location within the Rail Park allows us to have access to road and rail infrastructure, proximity to the Canada-U.S. border, which will position us to expedite shipments seamlessly across borders.”

It will allow Fastfrate to rapidly expand their existing operations in Manitoba, bring new service offerings to the local market, and create upwards of 150 new jobs within the first 12 months of operation.

Chris Reiter of Focus Equities reports the contractor for the project is Dawson Wallace Construction, which operates throughout Western Canada and is ranked as one of Canada’s top 25 general contractors.

Reiter notes the work is expected to be straightforward.

“We are not anticipating any particular challenges,” he says.

The Fastfrate Group of Companies’ new home in Winnipeg is expected to be fully operational by next fall.

This model is set to become a blueprint for Fastfrate’s expansion into other markets across Canada.

Ken Mariash, owner of Focus Equities Inc., comments in the press release, that “our vision for the CentrePort Canada Rail Park as a transformational project for Manitoba is coming to fruition and we look forward to seeing its long-term impact on the community and the companies who locate here. 

“We have worked hard over the last five years to create a rail-served industrial development in order for globally connected companies to thrive in the heart of the continent. Our goal to attract new businesses to Manitoba is being realized with industry leaders like Challenger choosing to establish a presence in the market and Fastfrate Group making a commitment to grow their business in Manitoba.”

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