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North Dakota makes moving products to market easy with excellent infrastructure to support your business needs.
Requirements for starting, expanding and running a business can vary tremendously from state to state. North Dakota provides numerous options for infrastructure resources, products and services your business needs. Learn more about North Dakota's infrastructure to support your business:  

Telecommunications Fiber Network

With one of the most powerful fiber optic networks in the nation, North Dakota is well suited to meet the network demands of your business. More than 95% of the state's population has access to broadband services. The fiber backbone service North Dakota is supported by multiple Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) rings, offering 10, 40 and future 100 Gigabit speeds.  Redundancy has been built into every corner of the state.  Consumers in the state can choose from a number of providers for their broadband needs; broadband connections can be ordered as T1, DS3, or OCx connections.

Other key infrastructure advantages include:
  • Minimal investment needed to reach the major fiber trunk
  • VPN (IP) networking
  • Ideal physical environment with minimal risk of natural disasters - no seismic activity and only minimal tornado risk
  • Temperate weather improves cooling efficiency - mild summer and cold winter temperatures
  • Abundant water supply includes municipal, along with the nation's largest man-made lake and the Missouri river system and tributaries
ND Fiber Optic Map

Emerging Teleservices eBusiness Sector

North Dakota has attracted and expanded some of the most recognizable information technology companies in the world. These companies have surpassed all growth expectations and, in some cases, opened facilities in more than one North Dakota city after experiencing great success with their first site.

Take a look at these examples of success for business-service companies:
  • Fargo is home to Microsoft's third largest campus.  Microsoft acquired Great Plains in 2001 and has over 1,800 employees.
  • Aetna opened a health insurance shared service center in 1990. It has grown to over 500 employees. The facility pays medical claims and answers telephone calls for members in the United States.
  • SEI Information Technology opened a facility in 1994 that offers computer systems design and related services. Today, SEI employs more than 400 in two North Dakota locations.
  • In 2012, ING Financial Services joined with Cognizant to offer a comprehensive array of insurance business process services in Minot.  The company has over 800 employees in the North Dakota location.
  • The US $5 million, 28,500-square-foot sales center for PepsiAmericas opened in May 2004. It is home to more than 230 employees as PepsiAmericas consolidated 13 US divisional sales offices in North Dakota. "Basically, what brought them here was the work ethic of our people," said Vice President and General Manager George Haugo.
  • The Unisys Shared Service Center opened in North Dakota in 1994 with 105 employees that handle global accounts payable services. Today, the facility of more than 220 has been recognized for its world-class customer service delivered in more than 10 languages.


North Dakota offers excellent transportation access and is home to two main trade corridors for the nation: the central North American Trade Corridor spans the state as Highway 83, and the Red River Trade Corridor crosses North Dakota as Interstate 29. Both connect Canada with Mexico. In addition, Interstate 94 crosses North Dakota from east to west and is part of the 8,410 miles of highway the North Dakota Department of Transportation maintains.

North Dakota has 19 different international ports of entry. There are 18 ports along the North Dakota-Canadian border. Of these, three are open 24 hours a day. Along with the 18 border crossings, the Hector International Airport in Fargo is also considered a 24-hour port of entry in the country, according to the U.S. Customs Service.

Related Links

North Dakota Department of Transportation


Rail Service

Another way to link your business with other parts of the world is through North Dakota's rail system. Our rail system can move mass amounts of product via five railroads.

North Dakotas Rail System

Quickly and reliably move your products and supplies through one of our two Class I railroads. The Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad operates in North Dakota, including the transcontinental primary line reaching from Seattle to Chicago.

The CP Rail System (Soo Line) also traverses North Dakota on a line connecting Vancouver to Chicago.

To move freight within the state, consider using one of our Class III (short line) railroads. The Red River Valley & Western primarily serve southeast and central North Dakota. The Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western primarily serve the central and northwestern part of the state. The Northern Plains Railroad operates over 340 miles of track and primarily serves the northern and northeastern parts of the state.

Amtrak, North Dakota's only passenger rail service operates the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and maintains seven North Dakota stations.

Air Service

North Dakota is connected to the global and technologically growing economy through eight commercial airports and 84 general aviation business airports.

Air Services Map

In addition; North Dakota has four international airports. Our central North American location provides a vital business link for east to west coast domestic flights in four hours or less. Via air, you are just 60 minutes from Minneapolis and 90 minutes from Denver.

Two North Dakota cities are recognized as general-purpose Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ). The Grand Forks FTZ consists of 48 acres located at the Grand Forks International Airport and in the Grand Forks Industrial Park. The Fargo zone is adjacent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry at Hector International Airport, and covers six sites on 1,026 acres of land. A Foreign Trade Zone can save you time and money because foreign goods within the FTZ are considered to be in international commerce and not subject to customs duties unless or until they enter the U.S. In addition, raw materials, parts and components can enter duty-free. Goods can then be assembled, manufactured or processed - and the final product exported - without paying custom duties.

Related Links

North Dakota Aeronautics Commission
Main Street LIFT Applications Available