Freight-related economic impacts for the Central Midlands come from freight service providers (carriers) and trade users (shippers/receivers) who depend on freight transport.  Such impacts are estimated by the Implan® economic model which depends upon movement input values from the IHS Transearch® database.  Impacts are calculated by the transport mode – truck, rail, and air; the activities of service providers and trade-users; the type of impact – direct, indirect, induced, and aggregate; and the measure – employment, income, value added, output, and tax revenue.  Numbers used in charts below are from 2011.

For a printable PDF of our Freight Movement & Economic Development Report, click here.

What is the Total Impact of Freight Mobility for the Central Midlands Region?

In 2011, the movement of freight impacted a total of 190,150 jobs within the Central Midlands region, earning $9 billion by producing $14.6 billion in Gross Regional Product (GRP).  These numbers result in $33.5 billion in output with $1.1 billion in tax revenues to local, state, and federal coffers.  Depending upon impact measure, total freight-related impacts comprise between 30% of GRP to 43% employment for the regional ecomomy.

How Much Freight Moves through Central Midlands

95.5 million tons of freight, valued at over $145.7 billion or an average of $1,526 per ton, moved across the Central Midlands transportation network in 2011.

What Goods Move Through the Area?

With 13.3 million tons, chemicals or allied products are the largest  commodity group traveling within (31.3%) and through (68.7%) the Central Midlands region. Most of this tonnage, almost 60%,  is being carried by trucks.

10.9 million tons of nonmetallic minerals come from local quarry mining operations.

10.2 million tons of coal travels almost exclusively by rail (99%) through the region.

Just over 7 million tons of freight is carrying food or kendred products, reflecting some of the state’s agricultural economy.

The 13 million tons of distribution and intermodal deliveries will likely grow as the Amazon distribution center ramps up.  A surprising realization was the discovery that 34.6% of the shipping containers moving in and through the region are empty with no tonnage or value.

Where Does the Freight Come From and Go To?

The Central Midlands plays an important bridge-role for the regional highway and rail network with 65.2% of all movements, 62.2 million tons valued at $104.1 billion, passing through the region.

17.1% of all freight movements, 16.3 million tons valued at $21.8 billion, are traveling outbound. Most of these outbound movements, 82.2%, are traveling by truck, with the remaining 17.7% traveling by rail.

15.1% of all freight movements, 14.4 million tons valued at $19.3 billion, are coming into the region. Almost 75% of these inbound movements are traveling by truck.

Just 2.7% of all freight movements, 2.6 billion tons valued at $582 million, are starting and ending within the region.

Which Industries Benefit the Most from Freight Movement?

Manufacturers, receiving intermediate goods and shipping finished products, benefit the most from freight mobility.  Both retail trade as well as accomodations & food services are reliant on freight shipments to serve customers.  Freight movement impacts the health and social services not just because it delivers shipments to this sector, but also because freight providers, users, and supplies spend their wages on health and social services.

How Freight Impacts the Region?

Of the $145.7 billion dollars worth of freight moving in and through the Central Midlands region, 18% are either produced or used by shipper/receivers within the region.  The other 82% are empty containers, secondary traffic, and other cargo which generate little or no production or consumption impact to the region beyond transportation services such as truck stops, emergency tire repair, lodging, etc.

What Jobs Benefit from Freight Movement?

The transportation, distribution, and logistics sector may only count for 8250 jobs or 4% of regional employment, but the employment of sectors which depend upon freight mobility is 96% of the employment impacts.

Most of all the employment benefits from freight mobility can be attributed to the movement of freight by trucks, 68.3% or 129,960 jobs, but do not forget the impact of air freight, 22.4% or 42,510 jobs, and rail, 9.3% or 17,730 jobs.

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