The St. Louis region has long been recognized as the key to the heartland, a leading center for trade and distribution. However, it is the things we see every day that are the reason why. The roads we drive on, the river we glance at, the airplanes that fly overhead and the railroads that we don’t really see unless a train is crossing in front of us. These are the things that are essential to our region.
St. Louis transportation and other regional assets are a globally-connected distribution network that is a key to regional economic development. St. Louis can uniquely claim unobstructed access to roads, river, rail and air, in all directions. We can also boast about our unique strategic location, and an infrastructure and business climate well suited for manufacturing, logistics and supply chain solutions. Add to that an educated workforce, competitive cost-of-living, and ample commercial real estate that is connected to various modes of transportation, and you begin to see the reason that companies continue to expand in the region, and new companies move to St. Louis.
Consider that a truck leaving St. Louis can move goods to Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul or New Orleans, within one day. That means 30 percent of the US population is within a one-day truck drive from St. Louis. If you prefer moving goods via air, the entire continental US is reachable within four hours.
Or consider that goods travelling via river from St. Louis have easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, and from there, the world. For goods coming into the US, St. Louis is the northern-most ice free port, and there are no locks and dams between the Gulf and us. And from St. Louis, you can put goods on any of the six Class I railroads that come through St. Louis (there are only seven in the US) and move efficiently move goods anywhere in the US.
When compared to locations such as Chicago, there is significantly less traffic congestion, ensuring a rapid turnaround of freight when moving goods in and out of St. Louis, wherever its final destination lies.
So next time you see a truck, or a train, or a barge, or a cargo plane, take just a moment to reflect on their contribution to our local economy, our economic development, the jobs they create and the companies they attract. The combination of St. Louis’ transportation, education and living environment are the key to the heartland. Not to mention the gateway to the world.
Check out the St. Louis Gateway website for more information on St. Louis transportation, regional assets and economic development