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Logistics & Transportation

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Discover Southern Illinois' R4 Advantage
Uniquely positioned to help you get to your customers faster from the center of the country. That's Southern Illinois!


Crisscrossing Southern Illinois are three interstate highways, offering easy access to major metropolitan areas at a lower cost. In particular, I-57 serves as a major transportation corridor linking northern cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Des Moines, and Milwaukee to southern cities via I-24, including Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and farther south to key Gulf of Mexico ports. This connection lends itself for logistics and distribution purposes as evidenced by the stretch of I-57 in Southern Illinois between Mt. Vernon and Marion serving as a route for 15,000 trucks per day and a daily traffic count of 40,000. I-64 also crosses through Southern Illinois, providing an east-west route to Louisville or St. Louis. Southern Illinois is within a two-day trucking distance to 80% of the U.S. population.


Southern Illinois is uniquely situated at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, making it an ideal hub for transportation of goods through the U.S. waterway system. In fact, 80% of all inland barge traffic in the United States passes through Southern Illinois. The Mississippi and Ohio River’s interconnected network allows for the transportation of goods to and from many different regions in the U.S. and links to key ports that provide access to international trade routes. There are six port districts Southern Illinois providing capital infrastructure for their tenants to utilize the rivers for cost-effective transportation of bulk goods.


Home to five Class I railroads including Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Canadian National, Norfolk Southern, and access to CSX via Evansville Western, Southern Illinois is at the center of the nation’s rail network. With multiple transloading facilities, railroads offer efficient freight transportation services and connect Southern Illinois to major markets and industrial centers across the country.


Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion (MWA) is the region’s sole primary commercial service airport providing daily flights to Chicago O'Hare, a key service for leisure and business travel alike. The one-hour direct flight to Chicago allows for easy access to the nation's third largest city and opens up flights to nearly anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, Southern Illinois Airport (MDH) in Carbondale/Murphysboro is home to Southern Illinois University's world-class School of Aviation. With three all-weather runways, 27 buildings and more than 200 employees working for 11 tenants, it's the third busiest airport in Illinois. Not to be outdone, Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (MVN) had 25,800 aircraft operations in 2022 and a substantial economic impact of $40,200,000. The airport’s 1,100-acre facility, encompassing 2,555,469 square feet of asphalt and concrete, has earned four Illinois Airport of the Year awards.

These three airports contribute more than $140 million to the Southern Illinois economy. 
3 Interstates

Two-day Trucking Distance to 80% of the U.S. Population
Five Class I Railways
"Marion's close proximity to various regional interstates provides a strategic advantage for the efficient delivery to customers from various regions. The location has proven to be perfect for AISIN's logistics operation, in a time when supply chain management is critical."
Bill Cox
Senior VP of Administration, AISIN Illinois
AISIN Illinois develops and produces components and systems for the automotive industry, operating three manufacturing plants and a logistics center in Marion
Ohio &
Mississippi Rivers

80% of Inland
Barge Traffic
1 Hour Flight to
Chicago O'Hare

10  Regional
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