3PL Warehouse Companies in Illinois: A Natural Transportation Center

3PL Companies and Warehouses in IllinoisIllinois is a Midwestern U.S. state. The Prairie State is quite diverse, it has everything from rich farmland and small towns to industrial centers and thriving cities. The state has the greatest concentration of land, water, and air transportation facilities in the entire world. Illinois is a natural center for transportation with its location in the middle of the United States, access to the Great Lakes and rivers like the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois, an extensive road network and major international airports. When your company is looking to store and transport goods within the U.S. and beyond 3PL Warehouse Companies in Illinois provide a key location.

Illinois officially became a state on December 3rd, 1818. In 1823 Illinois experienced its first industrial boom. Lead was discovered at Galena and miners flocked to the area. In 1837 John Deere, who was a blacksmith, perfected a steel, self-scouring plow. By 1858 he had incorporated his business which quickly became the world’s largest plow producer. Then in 1847 Cyrus McCormick opened a plant in Chicago which manufactured automatic reapers. These two entrepreneurs helped make Illinois a center for agricultural products. The Illinois Central Railroad was completed in 1856 and allowed goods from the state to reach national and even international markets. Chicago’s first large-scale iron works appeared in 1857. The first steel rolled in the United States was produced there in 1865.

By the 1920s Illinois had become an industrial center. Many products and goods were being produced in the state including rail cars, rolling steel, agricultural implements, aluminum, fine machine tools, knitting machines, watches, stoves, and telephone and communications devices. Chicago, Joliet, and Granite City all had large steel mills, Alton rolled brass and blew glass bottles, and there was an oil boom in southern Illinois. Between 1939 and 1947 the manufacturing output went from $2.1 billion to $6.68 billion. Zenith, Motorola and Western Electric were producing televisions and electronics. General Motors was building new diesel locomotives. Bally pinball machines and Wurlitzer jukeboxes were being produced in Chicago. The state was thriving and had positioned itself as a manufacturing and cultural hub.

Today, Illinois still has a strong economy with diverse industries. Chicago is home to many of the United States’ largest companies including Boeing, McDonalds, Motorola, and United Airlines. The Chicago area also headquarters a wide variety of financial institutions, and is home to the largest futures exchange in the world, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The 2014 total gross state product for Illinois was $745 billion, placing it fifth in the nation. Major industries in the state include technology, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services. The cost of doing business in the state is 1.5% below the national average. Illinois has the fourth-most big companies in the United States and has great incentives for small businesses.

3PL Warehouse Companies in Chicago

Chicago has long been a center for industry and culture. It is the third most populous city in the United States. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States at about $547 billion according to 2012 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification. Chicago has two International airports, O’Hare and Midway. O’Hare International Airport is the busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic. Chicago also has the largest number of U.S. highways and railroad freight. In 2014, the city had 50.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago is a cultural center. Visual arts, film, theater, comedy and music all flourish within the city. Forbes highlights, “The city’s distinct neighborhoods offer a large array of cultural, historical, sporting and entertainment focal points that bring thousands of tourists to the area yearly. Grant Park hosts the annual Taste of Chicago festival, while also featuring Millennium Park, home to the iconic Cloud Gate Structure, Buckingham Fountain and the Art Institute of Chicago.”

3PL Warehouse Companies in Springfield

Springfield in the capital of Illinois and the largest city in the central part of the state. The most prominent industries in the city are healthcare, education and technology. The cost of living in Springfield is 12% below the national average. Forbes ranks Springfield 19th on its list of Best Places for Business and Careers and 3rd in Cost of Doing Business. Springfield is the hometown of President Abraham Lincoln. Forbes highlights, “The main tourist sites include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site and Old State Capitol State Historic Site. Springfield is also home to the Hoogland Center for the Arts which house a number of live acts such as the Springfield Ballet, Springfield Municipal Opera and a number of touring acts.”

Transportation Advantages

Illinois is a natural transportation center. Businesses have access to one of the largest and most effective multi-modal transportation systems in the United States. The transportation infrastructure includes roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals, and terminals such as airports, railway stations, bus stations, warehouses, and intermodal facilities. Illinois plays a crucial role in the transportation of goods across the country and internationally. Major interstates in Illinois include coast-to-coast interstates I-80 and I-90, along with I-70 that extends from the east coast to Utah. There are also 15,989 miles of state highways. More than 7,200 trucking establishments within Illinois take advantage of this extensive network of highways. Railways run throughout Illinois and connect to all of the Continental U.S., Mexico and Canada. “Illinois is at the center of the nation’s rail network. It has a comprehensive rail network consisting of approximately 9,982 miles of railroad tracks, 7,792 of which are operated by Class I railroads – primarily BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Class I railroads are large freight companies, Class II and Class III are small regional railroad companies. The remaining 2,190 miles of track are operated by Class III short line or regional railroads. A total of 41 railroads currently operate in Illinois.” The state has 1,095 miles of navigable waterways that provide connections to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The port of Chicago has terminals that handle ocean and lake vessels as well as barges. The state is home to approximately 107 public and private airports with over 4,800 registered aircraft. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport consistently ranks among the top 10 in North America and in the top 25 of the world in terms of its annual air cargo, with a total of 1.5 million tons. Goods that move through O’Hare can reach over 200 cities non-stop.

Illinois continues to play a pivotal role in the U.S., both economically and culturally. The state is a center for manufacturing and transportation. There is a growing technology and electronics industry that has roots in Chicago dating back to the mid-1900s. Music, art, literature and theater all have a long and vibrant history in the state. With low costs of living and doing business, plus cultural centers, it is easy to see why Illinois will continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Businesses have long used Illinois as a central hub, utilizing the advantages of this transportation center. Contact us today for more information on the best 3PL warehouse solutions for your company.