Connectivity Advantages

Your gateway to North American markets

An aerial view of a train on a train track near a body of water.

The Edmonton region's advantage

A city with a river and a bridge.

Welcome to Edmonton — the region you want to do business in.

The Edmonton region is North America’s northernmost region and stands as an international manufacturing and logistics hub where air, rail, pipelines, and roadways intersect. Our strategic position creates a powerful platform for businesses to thrive on an international scale.

The entire Edmonton region is an inland port known as Port Alberta. This designation further enhances our region’s connectivity and is supported by favourable regulatory and tax regimes.

Additionally, being part of Canada means that Edmonton region companies enjoy access to larger markets compared to their peers in other countries. With free trade access to 51 countries, including the entire G7 and European Union, Canada’s 15 free trade agreements significantly expand global trade opportunities. These free trade agreements cover about two-thirds of the world’s GDP and open doors to over 1.5 billion consumers worldwide.

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Our northern location is a strategic advantage. As North America’s northernmost major city, our region is where air, rail, pipelines, and roadways converge to create an international manufacturing, cargo and logistics hub.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

The entire Edmonton region is a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), with access to import-export programs and cash flow tools to help accelerate business growth.

  • No heavy paper burden
  • No geographic restrictions
  • Improved cash flow
  • Reduced operating expenses
  • Increased international competitiveness
  • Access global markets and more than 1.5 billion consumers through Canada’s trade agreements
  • No import duties for advanced machinery and equipment imports
  • “Made in Canada” products

Duty Deferral Program (DDP)

The Duty Deferral Program allows for the postponement or refund of duties and taxes on imported goods in certain circumstances. The DDP covers three main components which can be used individually, or in combination, depending on your business needs. This program is of value for businesses who store goods before releasing them for sale into the Canadian market or import goods and later export them without substantially altering them or for those using imported goods in the production of other goods for export.

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Export Distribution Centre (EDCP)

The EDCP is a program intended to benefit export-oriented businesses that import goods and/or acquire goods in Canada, process them to add limited value and then export them. Participants in EDCP do not pay federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) or a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on most imported goods or on domestic purchases of goods worth $1,000 or more, which in turn improves cash flow.

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Exporters of Processing Services Program (EOPS)

EOPS program participants do not have to pay GST/HST on imports of goods belonging to non-residents, providing these goods are imported for processing, distribution or storage and are later exported. The benefit of this program is increased cash flow and reduced operating expenses.

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The Edmonton International Airport (YEG) is Canada’s most northern and largest airport by area. It has been tagged as Canada’s innovation airport. EIA is open 24 hours a day, with no operational restrictions, moving 8.2 million passengers and 43,000 tons of cargo in 2018.

The airport’s specialized cargo cluster development, Cargo Village, has 8 integrated courier/freight carriers, 3 independent cargo handlers, 40 freight forwarders and customs brokers, and 6 cargo terminals. The airport is currently undergoing a $36 million cargo expansion.

YEG is the first Canadian airport to receive CEIV certification for its expertise in the safe handling of temperature-sensitive cargo such as food products and pharmaceuticals.

YEG has international partnerships with Air China, Korean Air, Icelandair, Air France-KLM, and it is Canada’s closest major airport to Asia by circumpolar routes. The airport is a northern hub, connecting Northern Canadian communities and territories to Alberta, Canada, and worldwide.

An aerial view of an airport.


The Edmonton region is linked to major ports on Canada’s West Coast by rail, including the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

This is Canada’s largest and most diversified port. The port handles $1 of every $3 of Canada’s trade in goods outside North America. Its connection to the Port of Prince Rupert, which is one of North America’s fastest-growing ports, is a strategic advantage.

Prince Rupert is North America’s fastest growing port. It is the deepest port in North America and the closest to Asia. It provides access to over 170 countries. Shipping from the Port of Prince Rupert can shave up to 4 days off shipping to key Asian markets. The Port of Prince Rupert is 23 hours closer to Shanghai than Vancouver and 69 hours closer to Shanghai than Los Angeles. It’s known as Canada’s fastest-growing trade gateway and the Edmonton region is the last major city that goods flow through when entering or exiting the port.

A large ship with containers on the water.


There are 16 rail intermodal and storage facilities in the Edmonton region. These facilities are operated by Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) ‚ the two top freight transportation players in Canada.

CN and CP operate 7,000 miles of track in Alberta, connecting the region to 8 Canadian provinces, 16 U.S. states, and Mexico.

CN operates regional facilities for automotive distribution and bulk handling as well as metal and forest product distribution centres. Over 58 million tons of commodities were moved by rail from Alberta to other North American regions in 2016.

Geo Map Guide

Canadian National’s Walker Yard in Edmonton is one of the largest rail yards in Canada, spanning 50 blocks and connecting the region to Fort McMurray.

An aerial view of a train traveling by a body of water.


Complex and well-built road networks weave throughout the Edmonton region.

The Anthony Henday Drive circles the city of Edmonton, linking the region to highways 2, 16, and the airport, easing the connection of regional businesses.

Our region is located along the CANAMEX trade corridor. This series of highways link Canada to the United States and Mexico, representing $3.95 billion in trade.

The Trans-Canada Highway runs through the region, spanning 7,821 km across Canada.

A road with lights on it.


Major pipelines run through our region including TransMountain, Keystone, and Enbridge help deliver oil, gas and hydrocarbon products throughout North America. The region helps Alberta move 2.2 million energy barrels per day.

The Edmonton region serves as a hub for the provincial pipeline system, helping deliver oil, gas, and hydrocarbon products throughout North America. Alberta’s pipeline network stretches 373,000 km and has a takeaway capacity of 2.2 million barrels per day.

The Edmonton region includes 50 km of hydrogen pipelines with plans for more to support the emerging hydrogen economy. Primary oil and gas are piped into the region, where it flows to other locations or is used as feedstocks for the local petrochemical industry before export.

Pipelines in the oil and gas industry.

Explore new markets with the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)

Are you ready to go global or explore new markets? The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) is your ticket to take your business to the next level! With this 4-day hands-on program, you’ll get the tools, connections and knowledge you need to take your business into new markets.

How can we help?

Manisha Arora
Sector Contact
Manisha Arora - Director of Trade