Having a University Transportation Center in Memphis is a natural. Memphis, known
as “North America’s Distribution Center”, is a focal point for intermodal transportation.
Strategically positioned with five Class 1 railroads, crossed by several Interstate
highways, and home to the country's largest air cargo airport and the nation’s fourth
busiest inland waterway port, it is a major intermodal hub. The two major western
railroads, BNSF and Union Pacific have their eastern terminals in the Memphis region
where they interface with the Norfolk Southern, CSX and Canadian National railroads.
The Union Pacific has a major intermodal terminal in eastern Arkansas and both the
BNSF and the Canadian National have major intermodal terminal expansions underway
in Memphis. I-55 and I-40 cross at Memphis. Both carry substantial truck volumes,
servicing the entire region as well as the nation as a whole. The I-69 NAFTA corridor,
connecting Canada and Mexico, will pass through the region and become an important
transportation asset. Plans are also underway to upgrade other major arterials (US
78 and US 61) connecting Memphis to the region.
The world headquarters of Federal Express is located in Memphis, and its presence
has spawned a vibrant warehousing-distribution industry. Global companies such as
Nike and Williams-Sonoma as well as bio-medical firms like Medtronic and Wright Medical
have established major facilities in Memphis. This led to Memphis International Airport
processing more cargo by US Customs than any other airport in the country.
Located to the west in neighboring Arkansas is a significant collection of trucking
firms and the headquarters of Wal-Mart, a leader in logistics and supply chain management
innovation. With Memphis closer to more major markets overnight by truck than any
other city in America, it is no wonder that 400 trucking companies call Memphis home.
To the east, I-24, I-65, I-75 and I-81 carry large volumes of truck traffic within
and through the State of Tennessee and the eastern United States. Nissan and Saturn
operate major assembly plants, and Nissan recently moved its North American headquarters
to the Nashville area. Major north-south routes served by CSX and Norfolk Southern
have national importance, and Tennessee has an extensive network of short line railroads.
The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers link Tennessee and adjacent states with the inland
For more information on why Memphis is considered North America’s Distribution Center,
please visit www.MemphisDelivers.com.