Chicago’s 2.7 million residents make it the number three city in population in the United States and the biggest city in the Midwest. Its metro zone, “Chicago-land,” is 9.5 million strong. It stretches from Lake Michigan more than 50 miles inland and nearly touches Wisconsin on its northern extremities and Indiana on its southern limits.
Chicago began in 1837 at a portage between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River System that facilitated commerce between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The Illinois and Michigan Canal was later constructed to further enhance the strategic importance of this juncture. The town grew rapidly in the 19th Century, becoming a central node of many cross-country rail and road networks and the most important trans-shipment stop between east and west in the whole nation. Grain, meat-packing, and numerous other industries sprang up and made the city prosperous.
Chicago today is still a major distribution point and a huge player in national and international commerce, manufacturing, retail, tech-industry, printing and publishing, food processing, medical equipment production, and the list goes on. Tourism is also a major industry, a record 46 million visiting “the Windy City” in 2012 alone. Major corporations headquartered in or near Chicago include: Boeing (since 2001), Kraft Foods, Sears, and McDonald’s. Chicago has the 2nd biggest main business district of any U.S. city and has been rated the “most balanced” economically of all U.S. cities due to its intensive diversification.
One of the most important U.S. hubs of mass transit and international product distribution, Chicago has a superb infrastructure network. Only Singapore and Hong Kong surpass it as a trans-shipment locale. 11 Interstate Highways traverse Chicago-land, and two of its state roads (the Dan Ryan and Kennedy Expressways) are busier than any others in the state of Illinois. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is the second-busiest in the world, and Midway serves as a second in-town option. The Port of Chicago consists of numerous port facilities, such as Iroquois Landing with its 100 acres of warehouse space, which accommodate large lake freight volume. Chicago is especially famous for its excellent railroad system and is the biggest rail hub in the U.S. with six or the seven Class I railroad lines converging in its midst. Amtrak tracks link it with San Francisco, New York City, San Antonio, and many other cities.
If you need to ship freight in or out of Chicago, we have the experience to optimize the shipment by selecting the best shipping companies and routes so as to reduce costs and maintain schedule. Contact us today, and we will begin to map out the logistics of a superior way to handle the transportation of your goods.
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