St. Louis: World-Class Multimodal Freight Network

By on June 22, 2018

From Inbound Logistics:  Thanks to its strong global and fast-growing market, the St. Louis region is a leader in freight, setting records and gaining national and global significance.

Unrivaled accessibility. Those two words define the logistics advantage the St. Louis region offers. Factor in an outstanding logistics infrastructure and a ready, willing, and able labor force, and it is little wonder that logistics providers and users are the area’s biggest cheerleaders.


Located in America’s heartland, a 15-mile section of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis, Missouri, region is rapidly becoming known as the Ag Coast of America for delivering the highest level of grain handling capacity anywhere along the river.

Investments of more than $200 million in the agricultural product barge transfer facilities there since 2005 have helped increase handling capacity and other efficiencies driving growth. St. Louis regional ports have been ranked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the most efficient inland port district for tons moved per river mile. The region’s barge industry handles 500,000 tons per mile, making St. Louis two and a half times more efficient than its closest competitors.

Those efficiencies translate into one-third of all freight traffic along the Mississippi River, from Minneapolis to the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois, being captured by the St. Louis region’s ports and river terminals, reinforcing the region’s critical role in the national freight network.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2018 by the St. Louis Regional Freightway, Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District (located in the State of Louisiana) and four ports in the St. Louis region is expected to generate more barge freight traffic in the St. Louis region.

The Freightway will be collaboratively working with the Port of Plaquemines and America’s Central Port, Port Authority of St. Louis, Kaskaskia Regional Port District, and Jefferson County Port Authority to support development of a new transportation link for container transport vessel shipments from Plaquemines to the St. Louis area. In 2017, the Freightway and three of the ports signed another key MOU with the Port of New Orleans.

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