Founded in 1819 by Andrew Jackson because of its strategic location on the Mississippi river, for almost 200 years Memphis has been an important transportation hub. Over the years, as logistics assets have been added, Memphis has become a major logistics center. Because of its world class airport and ancillary logistics assets, it is considered to be America’s Aerotropolis, “Where Runway, Road, Rail and River Merge”. Memphis boasts the country’s top cargo airport and the world’s second busiest in terms of cargo, largely due to the fact that Memphis is home to the major FedEx hub. In 2011, the airport handled 3.9 metric tons of cargo, 90% of which was distributed through FedEx’s over 300 domestic and international flights.
Memphis is only one of three U.S. cities that is served by five Class I railroads. These include the Norfolk Southern, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National, Union Pacific, and CSX. All of the railroads have identified Memphis as a high-growth market for intermodal traffic, and four of them have invested significantly to expand the capacity of their terminals.