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Transportation & Infrastructure

Overview

Global Access at the Heart of the U.S.

Home to five international airports, seven Class I railroads, the third largest interstate highway system in the country and the third largest intermodal port in the world, Illinois offers unparalleled access to global markets.

The state’s central location puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market—not to mention non-stop service to more than 50 international destinations.

In addition, the state offers businesses top-notch digital infrastructure, reliable, low-cost energy and abundant water and natural resources.

Dynamic Road and Rail Network

 

Illinois’ highly efficient network of road and rail includes seven Class I freight railroads, the largest intermodal system in the U.S.—the third largest in the world—and the third largest interstate highway system in the nation, complete with 2,158 miles of road.

Chicago is one of the largest rail corridors in North America, with approximately twenty-five percent of all U.S. freight traffic passing through it.

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Railway at O'Hare International Airport

A Global Air Transport Hub

 

Ranked #1 in the U.S. for non-stop overseas flights, Illinois is a global hub for air transport. The state is home to 12 major airports, including Chicago O’Hare, which is among the world’s busiest airports, served by all significant international carriers.

Home to operations of United, Southwest and American airlines, Illinois boasts the only “Triple Hub” in North America, providing passengers with more than 1,400 daily departures and non-stop services to more than 200 destinations.

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Ports Built for Trade

Offering access to two major water ports—the Port of Chicago and the Port of East St. Louis—Illinois’ connectivity doesn’t stop with rail and air.

Illinois also boasts the largest inland container port in North America—CenterPoint Intermodal Center, located in Joliet, IL—and 13 port districts and waterways, which provide access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s no wonder Illinois ranks as the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S. and the top exporter in the Midwest.

Low-Cost Energy, High-Quality Digital

Illinois offers low energy rates and deregulation, abundant water and natural resources and robust digital infrastructure that keep your business running at a steady clip without compromising your bottom line.

The average cost of electricity in Illinois is significantly lower than many competitor states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and neighboring Wisconsin, and the state boasts among the best energy reliability in the Midwest.

The state is also committed to increasing its share of renewable energy and investing in smart grid and fiber optic technology to bring 21st century energy and digital solutions to its businesses and residents. A major digital hub, Chicago has among the highest fiber optic capacity of any metro area in the country and three of the world’s largest data centers are in Chicago or its suburbs.

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Quick Facts
12
Major Airports
Quick Facts
25%
of all U.S. Freight Traffic Moves Through Chicago
Relevant News
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June 7, 2021

Team Illinois Participates in 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit

State and Local Economic Development Organizations Attract Global Investment to Illinois at SelectUSA Investment Summit The State of Illinois today announced that a delegation from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois and 17 economic development partners will represent Illinois at the 2021 virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of […]

May 18, 2021

Economic Development Week 2021

Intersect Illinois, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the IEDA  shared best practices, lessons learned, and strategies for success around driving economic development in Illinois during Economic Development Week 2021. Economic development plays a vital role as we shift towards economic recovery. To showcase the work being done across the state, […]

May 7, 2021

Lion Electric Plans First-Ever U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Illinois

$70 Million Investment Paves the Way for Largest All-Electric Commercial Vehicle Production Plant in the U.S.; Creating 745 Jobs in Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today joined elected officials and the Lion Electric Company — a Canadian based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles — to announce a significant investment in Illinois, with plans […]

March 9, 2021

ADM’s Rich History and Future in Illinois – Q&A with Greg Morris

ADM is a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. In this Q&A, senior vice president and president of ADM’s Agricultural Services and Oilseeds business unit, Greg Morris, discusses the company’s rich history and future in Illinois. Q: Can you tell us about ADM’s history in […]

World’s Largest Insect Protein Production Center Chooses Decatur for U.S. HQ

Innovafeed, a leader in production of animal nutrition and feed, recently announced plans to bring the world’s largest insect protein production to Decatur, Illinois. The facility will be owned and operated by France-based Innovafeed, which will co-locate with ADM’s Decatur corn processing complex. Together, these investments will bolster Illinois’ access to sustainable agriculture feed supply, […]