Global Logistics

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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 2018, the Detroit metropolitan area was the 3rd largest export market among peers with merchandise shipments totaling $44.0 billion.

Our airports offer non-stop flights to more than 121 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.

Economic Impact of Cross-border Trade

  • In 2019, The U.S. exported $292.6B worth of goods to Canada.
  • In 2019, Michigan exported more than 22.65B dollars worth of goods to Canada. 62% of the products exported were transportation equipment.
  • Michigan was the 2nd largest exporter of merchandise to Canada, with almost all of that handled in Detroit & Port Huron.
  • In 2018, the Detroit MSA exported $44.13B, accounting for 67.0% of Michigan’s total merchandise exports.

Exports by Industry for the Detroit Region

Interactive Exports Dashboard

You can explore interactive dashboard by clicking the play button. For more information, please visit DetroitDataCenter.org.

Logistics Advantages

The Detroit/Toledo/Windsor trade corridor has a unique advantage in that it is 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 home to a world class transportation, logistics, and distribution center, The Detroit region exported more than $43.13 billion in 2018, which accounted for 67.0% of Michigan’s merchandise exports.

Top 5 Export Sectors in the Detroit Region, 2018
SectorValue (in billions)Market Share (%)
Transportation Equipment$24.655.9
Machinery Manufacturing$3.57.9
Computer and Electronic Products$3.27.2
Electrical Equipment, Appliances$3.06.7
Fabricated Metal Products$2.24.9
Total$36.5
Source: International Trade Administration
Top Export Markets in the Detroit Region, 2018
CountryValue (in billions)Market Share (%)
Mexico$17.038.6
Canada$15.334.8
All Others$8.218.6
China$2.45.5
Germany$1.12.5
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.

Interstates
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.

Bridges

  • Detroit and Port Huron are the second and fourth busiest border crossings in North
  • More than 11,00 trucks cross the Detroit and Port Huron border crossings.
  • The Gordie Howe International Bridge is projected to open in 2024, helping increase border trade.

Rail
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.

Air
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 #1 in customer satisfaction for mega airports with more than 1,100 daily flights and more than 35 million passengers served per year.
  • DTW is an enormous Delta hub with 121 destinations served, 460 departures during peak-day and more than 24 million customers in 2018.

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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