Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
Northwest Indiana’s location and comprehensive transportation network allows companies to reach customers worldwide with ease. Businesses in Northwest Indiana enjoy strategic location within the Chicagoland area, the third-largest metropolitan economy in the U.S., while taking advantage of Indiana’s stellar business climate.
Our Midwest location, combined with a comprehensive transportation network and intermodal connections, allows for fast, efficient and cost-effective access to customers.
>> Companies in Northwest Indiana are within a day’s drive to 80% of the U.S. population. Major metropolitan centers are within close proximity, including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and Toronto.
“The success of the program, together with the proactive Indiana business environment, has helped us fulfill our vision for world-class cold storage in this strategic location.”
Andrew Janson, President, Hanson Logistics, Hammond
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Two significant regional airports – The Gary/Chicago Airport and The Porter Regional Airport – are able to assist with cargo needs.
The Gary Airport recently completed a $174 million expansion to extend its main runway to 8,900 feet.
Porter County’s airport has a 7,000-foot runway, longer than that of Chicago’s Midway Airport.
Both of Chicago’s main airports are within an hour from Northwest Indiana.
There are several municipal and county airports throughout the region which complement the major facilities.
The region boasts the deepwater international Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan, allowing for multimodal connections to an extensive ground transportation network.
Minutes from Chicago, the Port of Indiana—Burns Harbor has access to the world via the Saint Lawrence Seaway or the Mississippi River.
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides year-round barge access through the Inland Waterway System.
The Port contains a Foreign Trade Zone with expanded coverage to eligible businesses in all of Northwest Indiana.
Manufacturing companies in Northwest Indiana are within a day’s drive to 80% of the U.S. population.
Four of the country’s most traveled interstates along with multiple U.S. highways pass through Northwest Indiana.
Trucking accounts for more than half of all inbound and outbound shipments, and that number is expected to grow
Warehousing and distribution centers are prevalent along Northwest Indiana’s transportation corridors.
Three Class I railroads – Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and CSX – serve the region along with short line and regional carriers. Northwest Indiana has access to all of the Class I railroads through the Chicago network.
Northwest Indiana possesses a dense, heavily traveled rail network. More than 700 miles of active rail crosses through the region, 557 of which are active mainline. Rail carries 16% of the freight moved in the region.
The CSX and NS mainlines, in particular, are two of the most heavily traveled rail lines in the country, each averaging more than 100 million gross ton miles.
In addition to the Class I rail lines, a network of short line and regional railroads serve local industry and provide short haul, switching and terminal operations.
Along with freight trains, both interstate and commuter passenger trains operate throughout Northwest Indiana.