WERC to meet in nation’s largest inland port city

When the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) convenes for its annual conference in Chicago next week, they’ll be visiting the nation’s largest inland port.

By ·

When the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) convenes for its annual conference in Chicago next week, they’ll be visiting the nation’s largest inland port.

While most shippers think of major ocean cargo gateways as being the principal means for moving containers, it’s important to note that the U.S. is served by more than 360 commercial ports, providing approximately 3,200 cargo facilities.

Within this context, Chicago remains the largest inland general cargo port in America, and the city as a whole is the commercial transportation hub of the nation. It sits in the center of the Midwest industrial base and the agricultural heart of America.

“I believe the port is a valuable asset, and with strategic investment it can drive economic growth in our city,” says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The port moves more cargo than any other Great Lakes gateway, most frequently steel, grain, scrap metals and stone.”

The Seaway and the Great Lakes meet the Illinois and inland waterway system at Chicago. It’s the beginning and the end of barge traffic between the Seaway, inland points, and the Gulf of Mexico through the Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and the Arkansas Rivers. Eastern railroads terminate in Chicago, and rail lines west, north, and south start here.

Still, industry analysts maintain that more money has to be directed toward infrastructure to make the port sustainable. Last year, the Denver-based Broe Group and its transportation affiliate OmniTrax, tried to complete a privatization deal that might have achieved this goal. Although that deal failed to come to fruition, analysts say similar ventures may develop this year.

Principal national interstate highways pass through the Chicago area and radiate outward from the Midwest’s major city. Trucking companies maintain central terminals and intermodal transshipping facilities in Chicago, with highway carriers fanning out in all directions from this dynamic industrial, commercial, and agricultural center.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Intermodal · Seaports · Shipping · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...