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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.

Solar Array

Quick Facts
12
Major Airports
Quick Facts
25%
of all U.S. Freight Traffic Moves Through Chicago
Relevant News
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November 16, 2021

Danobat Announces New Headquarters in Rolling Meadows

Global manufacturer of machinery tools chooses Illinois for new U.S. location Danobat, a global manufacturer of machine tools and production systems for the auto, aerospace, rail and energy sectors, today announced plans to open its new headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The investment will bring new jobs to the region, with an initial seven employees […]

September 23, 2021

Illinois Investment Guide 2021-22

This Illinois Investment Guide is written and edited by Conway Global, and features data and stories on the state’s unique position as a diverse and thriving global business destination. It highlights Illinois’ unique regions and prominent industries including agribusiness, energy, manufacturing, life sciences, transportation and logistics, and technology. The issue is available digitally here. Additionally, […]

September 9, 2021

Dan Seals to Serve as New Intersect Illinois CEO

New leadership at Intersect Illinois includes Seals to market Illinois as a premier global business destination; joined by Robert Stephan to focus on downstate development and corporate relations Intersect Illinois, the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing businesses to Illinois, today announced it has named Dan Seals as its new CEO. Seals will guide […]

July 1, 2021

Illinois Ranks #1 in Site Selection Magazine’s Annual Sustainability Rankings

State tops the nation as most sustainable location for site selection Illinois tops the nation in Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of the top locations for sustainable development, released today. The state moves up from the third spot in the 2021 report, which combines standard green metrics such as LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy use and […]

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 […]