Trends Favoring St. Louis

Balanced freight market for trucking

The St. Louis area's freight market is more balanced than those of other distribution areas, such as Indianapolis and Memphis. That means truck tonnage into St. Louis is roughly equal to the tonnage out. This results in fewer empty trucks and therefore more favorable trucking rates for shippers.

Rise of Intermodal/Multimodal Shipping

Intermodal container shipping is the fastest-growing segment of rail transportation. Because of St. Louis' outstanding convergence of highway, rail, and water transportation facilities, intermodal tonnage into St. Louis grew 66 percent in the last five years, compared with 40 percent nationally.

Shift in Imports From West Coast to East Coast Ports

Almost four out of five Americans — 240 million people — live east of the Rocky Mountains. Shippers receiving containers from the West Coast can efficiently receive and redistribute to this huge portion of the nation from sites within the St. Louis area.

Because of labor strife, congestion, and other problems in Southern California ports, New York, Norfolk, and Houston have become increasingly important gateways for Asian imports. St. Louis, with its exceptional interstate connections, is an ideal redistribution site for shipments from these ports.

Chicago Traffic Congestion

St. Louis lies on many of the same east-west and southwest-northeast routes that bring international freight to and from Chicago. As congestion in the Chicago area grows, St. Louis becomes an increasingly appealing alternative.

St. Louis, since its founding in the 18th century, has been a natural center for warehousing and distribution.

Intermodal tonnage into St. Louis grew 66 percent in the last five years, compared with 40 percent nationally.