“The St. Louis region’s central location in the U.S. and its logistics capabilities has made the metro area a coveted destination for industrial users. As consumers demand faster shipping times, the St. Louis region becomes very attractive to e-commerce users.”

Katie Haywood, Vice President of CBRE

“The amount of river business in the St. Louis region has disproportionately increased over the past three decades. This region is a rail and interstate highway gateway. It is more cost-effective to move commodities into, out of and through St. Louis by combinations of truck, rail and barge than points upstream on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Barge loading and unloading capacity has expanded in the St. Louis area to take advantage of these train rates and barge freight rate adjustments.”

David Jump, President of American Milling

“The St. Louis region remains primed to take its place as a global hub for logistics and the movement of goods throughout the United States and internationally. This list of [priority] projects goes a long way toward achievement of that goal.”

Chester Jones, Supply Chain Operations at True Manufacturing Co.

“The I-70 reconstruction and expansion between St. Louis and Kansas City is a game changer. The St. Louis region is a distribution metro, and distribution relies on trucks and those trucks rely on the smooth, safe movement of freight. Chicago is a big competitor and is fed by two major east-west interstates, I-80 and I-90. If we are going to remain relevant and competitive, we have to have good connections on I-70. It is our major east-west corridor. That project is crucial to the region and will be a big part of our future successes.”

David Branding, Managing Director for the St. Louis office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

“A project I think that could give the region the same strategic advantage [as KC or Indianapolis] is the expansion of the Union Pacific Intermodal Yard in Dupo, Illinois. It could put us on par with our rival cities by giving us cost competitive connectivity to the major West Coast ports.”

David Branding, Managing Director for the St. Louis office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

“Private industry representatives with first-hand knowledge of the bi-state St. Louis area consistently reinforce that availability of space and speed of delivery; an available, job-ready workforce, and exceptional freight assets are continuing to drive the growth we’ve been seeing in our region. As a result of that growth, as supply chains continue to shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Louis region has all the ingredients in place to accommodate those shifts.”

Geoff Orf, Senior Vice President – Industrial, Colliers International

“Why the St. Louis region for site selection? And what makes us different from our sister cities? The answer is the St. Louis bi-state region can support one system or the entire supply chain from a company’s headquarters, research and development, warehousing and manufacturing to suppliers and logistics. We have the infrastructure, both vertical and horizontal, and the talent. Our workforce has a can-do attitude with a heritage of making things, enabling companies like World Wide Technology, Bunge, General Motors, Progressive Recovery and many others to compete in the global market, elevating our ranking as a global logistics hub. Our supply chain ecosystem is unique and has adapted to and stands ready for COVID-19 shifts in terms of shortened supply chains and a local workforce that supports each system of the supply chain.”

Mary Lamie, Vice President of Multi Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development

“Regions best positioned to win site selection projects are ones that, for the foreseeable future, are “deep regionally” and “highly accessible” globally. This means a region, that from a real estate, infrastructure, and talent perspective can accommodate multiple aspects of most any company’s supply chain, with access to talent to support each of the functions required to run a global business, and with transportation modes that provide global access to markets. The bi-state St. Louis region performs magnificently by this standard.”

Doug Rasmussen, Site Selection Consultant, Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners

“The St. Louis region is able to supply all of that labor, and I don’t think every metro in the U.S. could make that claim. That’s a critical part of why World Wide Technology is here and remains here, I believe. It’s estimated there are 5,000 employees at Amazon facilities in the St. Louis region, and you have to have a deep labor pool to support that. We have that in St. Louis.”

David Branding, Managing Director at JLL

“The St. Louis region is the envy of the barge industry. Located in the heart of the nation and strategically positioned at the northernmost ice-free and lock-free point on the Mississippi River.”

April 2016 Gary LaGrange, then CEO of the Port of New Orleans

“We’re in this together. We’re not competing as we all have the same goal of making an efficient waterway system that’s unlike any other in the world. I believe together we can do this.”

Neal Breitweiser, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Port Authority

“The Priority Projects List is a valuable tool used by the St. Louis Regional Freightway to align and amplify advocacy for support and funding for critical infrastructure improvements. The ongoing regional effort to compile and build consensus for this list remains a key accomplishment of the organization and plays a vital role in helping to ensure various parties are familiar with the priorities before they see them on a grant application. This list emphasizes how stakeholders on both sides of the Mississippi River can work together for the benefit of the entire St. Louis region.”

Asim Raza, Chief Legal Officer and Director of Corporate Affairs for the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA)

“The St. Louis to New Orleans barge route is one of the most efficient logistics export steams in the U.S., and there typically is an abundance of corn in the region,” Power said. “St. Louis is directly tied to U.S. export markets, including China, so any increase in trade volumes would improve operational conditions.”

Tim Power, President of SCF Marine

“The list of current and future infrastructure projects occurring across the Bi-State St. Louis region will not only allow freight to move more safely through the region, but also enable strategic advantages for companies looking to reduce costs and run leaner supply chains. Once these [priority] projects are completed, these improvements will benefit not only the companies located in the Bi-State region, but companies throughout North America that use the St. Louis region as a corridor for moving their freight.”

Ryan Krull, Sales Manager at Watco Companies

“This type of progress doesn’t happen overnight. We continually invest the time and effort and lay the foundation to make sure that all necessary parties are familiar with our priorities and understand why they are priorities, so they can advocate for funding for them. It’s tremendous validation to see projects on our list move forward and contribute to the enhancement of our region’s freight network.”

Mary Lamie, Vice President of Multi Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development

“COVID-19 creates a really interesting situation and certainly an inflection point for industrial real estate here as companies turn away from a reliance on China and an ‘all eggs in one basket’ approach to manufacturing. . . Those companies will look for markets that support multiple modes of transportation, such as rail and interstate, coupled with a large enough population to support labor requirement. We are in the midst of a significant change in the U.S. for demand of distribution space and labor. I think the St. Louis region is uniquely poised to take advantage of that change. We need to be prepared for the opportunity.”

David Branding, Managing Director for the St. Louis office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

“To use a transportation analogy, I think the opportunity train is again headed toward St. Louis. I think it is time for the region to be prepared for that — to be on the platform and ready to win when that train arrives at the station.”

David Branding, Managing Director for the St. Louis office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

“The epicenter of this construction boom is along the I-70 bi-state corridor, including I-70 and portions of I-170, I270, and I-370 running from Missouri to Illinois. This is a major logistics corridor supported with more than $600 million of roadway infrastructure investment, which will help to foster continued growth among the national manufacturers, suppliers and distributors choosing to locate in the corridor.”

Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multi-Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development

“When you put it all together, the sum of this [St. Louis] region is much greater than the individual parts of the sub-region. Areas that can present the entire menu and the entire platform and that are going to work together collaboratively to attract certain investments will win.”

Doug Rasmussen, President and CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners

“Now, more than ever, companies are really going to want to have a great handle on where their people and where their assets are, and also, where their future pipeline of talent exists, and generally just being more compact and more focused geographically. Supply chains are going to shorten, and the areas that are going to do well are the ones that can effectively serve the world from one location.”

Doug Rasmussen, President and CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners

“Those industrial bloodlines and the fact that our [St. Louis area] communities aren’t afraid of industrial development and they’re so supportive of that could be an opportunity for us as the supply chains and as the world kind of shrinks and becomes more regional in scope.”

Doug Rasmussen, President and CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners

“The city’s location in the middle of the country positions it to better handle loads from either coasts than from a logistics hub like Chicago, especially in the wake of new federal legislation that caps the number of hours drivers are allowed to be on the road. Drivers from California, for example, will run out of hours before they can make it to Chicago — giving St. Louis, and its close proximity to more destinations, an advantage in the $9.6 trillion global logistics industry.”

Angelina Twardawa, founder of Angie’s Transportation