Illinois Port District

About Us




Illinois International Port District

Facts and Statistics

Chicago is the largest inland general cargo port in America, and the city as a whole is the commercial transportation hub of the nation. It sits in the center of the Middle West industrial base and the agricultural heart of America. Chicago is the nation’s most inland general cargo port. The Seaway and the Great Lakes meet the Illinois and inland waterway system at Chicago. It is the beginning and the end of barge traffic between the Seaway, inland points, and the Gulf of Mexico through the Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and the Arkansas Rivers.

Eastern railroads terminate in Chicago, and rail lines west, north, and south start here. Principal national interstate highways pass through the Chicago area and radiate outward from the Midwest’s major city.

Trucking companies maintain central terminals and intermodal transshipping facilities in Chicago, with highway carriers fanning out in all directions from this dynamic industrial, commercial, and agricultural center. For cost-effective, efficient international shipping to and from Middle America, “Ship Chicago.”  Other ports are near the Heart of America; WE’RE IN IT.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Navigation Data Center, annually collects, processes, distributes and archives vessel trip and cargo data. These statistics are essential when considering new projects, investment priorities and the operation/maintenance of existing projects for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.