The regional freight system: highways, rail, rivers, airports

Freight transport throughout the supply chain is a critical aspect of our regional economy.

Much of our freight-related infrastructure such as ports and intermodal rail yards are located near highways for easy access through and beyond the region. It's important to retain these facilities in our metro area, since it is expensive to relocate and recreate the facilities.

75% of all intercity freight relies predominantly on trucks using highways, with the remaining 25% of freight moved by air, water, and rail.

Three river ports in the region — the Ports of Minneapolis and Saint Paul on the Mississippi River and the Port of Savage on the Minnesota River — haul freight by barge downriver to New Orleans for export to global markets.

Several railroads operate more than 750 miles of track in the region, providing local service and carrying a large amount of cross country commerce.

More information about the Freight Summary Study (13 pages, pdf)