“Projected population growth, both in the city and in the county at large, will only increase the demand for freight transport,” says an official
Goods move through our region at a steady pace.
“When you look at Barrie and Simcoe County more broadly, and the multi-modes of transportation to move goods, Barrie is a transportation hub,” said Stephannie Schlichter, Director of Economic and Creative Development for the City of Barry.
She said that by examining data from the city’s Business and Employment Survey, Statistics Canada identified 205 businesses operating in the transportation and warehousing sector in Barrie and the region, including approximately 129 in the trucking sub-sector.
And Barrie’s location is definitely a big factor.
“The site was chosen because of its easy access to major highways, its proximity to customer distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees,” said Dana Hardek of FedEx Ground, which opened a 180,000-square-foot distribution center on Big Bay Point Road last fall that employs a mix of full-time and part-time workers.
“The company also contracts for package pickup and delivery services with service provider companies that locally hire drivers, helpers, managers and other positions,” Hardek added.
Figures from Statistics Canada are from its number of Canadian businesses with employees, as of June 2022. Note that the geographic region is the Barrie Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) which includes Innisfil and the Township of Springwater.
Just over half of these 205 companies employ between one and four people.
Major courier and transportation service companies operating in the city, identified through business survey and employment data, include Canada Post, Canpar, Larway Transportation, Chantler Transport, and Muskoka Delivery Service, among others , Schlichter said.
“We also welcome businesses that support the industry, including customs brokerage and freight forwarding services such as North American Freight Forwarding and Near North Customs Brokers,” she said.
Purolator, located on Bayview Drive, serves not only Barrie, but Bradford, Sharon, Alliston, Nobleton, Tottenham, Midland, Orillia, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, among others. This is a mix of business-to-business and business-to-consumer volume. The Barrie Terminal also has a dedicated cargo operations fleet, or less than a full truck load, serving the same areas.
“We expect this growth to continue as families move from Toronto to the many communities in our service areas,” said Purolator District Manager Landon Morris.
Schlichter said the city doesn’t have specific data on what’s being shipped and where.
“However, anecdotally, when you look at the makeup of Barrie’s commercial industry, we would see that raw materials and components are being shipped and finished goods or work-in-progress are being shipped,” she said. said, “from automation equipment and machinery to parts and products – both plastic and metal that serve a wide range of industries, from automotive to medical to nuclear.
“Because these companies are globally connected, freight is shipped across North America and around the world, including Europe, Asia and South America,” Schlichter added. . “From a consumer goods perspective, Barrie is a centrally located urban center with transportation corridors via highway connections that make it a natural ‘last mile’ distribution area.
Barrie is a transportation hub in three main ways, she noted.
By road, there is access to Highway 400 and other major arteries, which facilitates transportation across Canada and to US markets.
By air, Lake Simcoe Regional Airport is a 20-minute drive and operates through Canadian Customs. Proximity to Pearson International Airport is also a plus.
And by rail, there is a shortline service via Barrie-Collingwood Railway, with a connection to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) intermodal terminal in Vaughan and to the Canadian National Railways international terminal (CN) in Brampton.
“Barrie’s proximity to Toronto, international border crossings and more northern destinations such as Muskoka (also makes it a transportation hub),” Schlichter said. “Furthermore, our projected population growth, both in the city and in the county at large, will only increase the demand for freight transportation.”
According to Statistics Canada, Barrie’s population in 2021 was 147,829. Barrie is expected to reach a population of 210,000 by 2031, to 253,000 by 2041.