Photo courtesy of the Port of Windsor.

Port of Windsor has big plans to grow

The Port of Windsor is responsible for a lot of economic activity in the Windsor area but it still plans to grow in the future.

Officials from the port, the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce, and the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation held a news conference on Wednesday to boast about their numbers and say they all want the port to grow by attracting more foreign investment and becoming a major international logistics and transportation hub.

Chamber CEO Rakesh Naidu said the port is vital to the local “economic ecosystem” and must be enhanced to be at the centre of moving goods throughout North America.

“Leverage the port, make use of the foreign trade zone designation, and have the warehousing and storage facilities that we have. That could be further enhanced and could be a great economic generator in this region,” Naidu said.

Economic Development Corporation CEO Stephen MacKenzie said the plan is to continue shining a light on the port to attract more investment to the area.

“The Windsor port is a very valuable tool in our business attraction toolbox. We promote it constantly relating its importance to the successful movement of goods,” Mackenzie added.

Port CEO Steve Salmons said the port still has plenty of space to fill and has a big advantage by being a strategically placed deep port on the Detroit River in the heart of the Great Lakes basin.

“Most importantly because we have deep water draft along the entire 22-kilometre waterfront of Windsor. Those are assets that every community wants and only we have,” Salmons said.

The Port of Windsor has 14 terminals, generates $271 million in annual economic activity, and employs 1,000 people.

Windsor’s port is the 10th largest in Canada and is third on the Great Lakes.