The Cross-Border Institute (CBI) at the University of Windsor is dedicated to research, education and public outreach related to the movement of people, goods and services across the Canada-U.S. border. It takes a multi-disciplinary perspective, incorporating engineering, economics, the social sciences, management and law. Drawing on the expertise of the University’s faculty, its goal is to find practical solutions to real world problems.
CBI’s location, steps away from the Windsor-Detroit border – the largest point of crossing for the huge Canada-U.S. trade relationship – provides a unique perspective from which to study the impact of trends in cross-border transportation, trade, technology, and policy decisions by governments on both sides of the border. Working with public and private sector stakeholders, CBI has developed expertise in cross-border business and border management, both critical to Canada’s economic future. It is a leading centre for research on cross-border supply chains and transportation.
A major pillar of CBI is its Traffic Lab, which maintains sophisticated software, data and hardware including an array of sensors tracking all cars and trucks across the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in real time. CBI’s Traffic Lab is a leading centre for the application of big data analytics in the logistics sector. As an example, the map that is illustrated represents the spatial patterns of origins for trucks crossing into Canada at the Detroit River based on millions of Global Positioning System records generated by a sample of over 50,000 Canadian registered trucks. CBI research initiatives include computer simulations of border facilities and application of the methods of artificial intelligence to predict border crossing times.
CBI, with support from the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority and in association with researchers from Michigan State University, is conducting a study of the economic impacts of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Located close by Port Windsor facilities and the Essex Terminal Railway line, it is expected that the new Bridge will become the most important crossing for Canada-U.S. trade. CBI is consulting with the community of shippers and logistics service providers and conducting objective, quantitative analyses of the feasibility of a variety of innovative logistics services that might benefit from the new bridge. CBI is especially interested in exploiting the region’s pivotal position in both trucking and marine networks. Through this research, CBI will identify new opportunities for economic development where marine, rail and highway transportation come together at the crossroads of the Great Lakes Region.
For nearly a decade, Windsor Port Authority has been a supporter, advisor and friend to CBI and its predecessor organization the Cross-Border Transportation Centre at the University of Windsor.