Chicago does it again
Lost in freight: Houston drops in shipping hub rankings
Whether it be by land, by air or by water, Houston ships things to where they need to be, quickly.
However, in such an industrial city where the importing/exporting business is booming, oil is king, and airports are everywhere, the Bayou City somehow managed to slip in shipping standing. Houston dropped from the second best logistics, distribution and shipping hub in the United States to the third in Business Facilities magazine's recently-released latest rankings.
Though Houston is ranked third overall (now behind rival Chicago and No. 1 Memphis, home base of global shipping giant FedEx), the Port of Houston has handled more foreign waterborne tonnage than any other port in the United State for nearly 15 years.
Business Facilities rankings praise Houston as a robust shipping aerotropolis, since it is served by three major airports, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Houston’s major airline hubs could not compete, however, with the FedEx headquarters.
Memphis, ranked first for the second consecutive year, topped the charts because of its monster aerotropolis, its major railroads and highways, and its port, which is currently expanding into the Panama Canal.
“Memphis has an unsurpassed combination of air, rail, land and water shipping possibilities,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief Jack Rogers in a press release. “When it absolutely, positively has to get there, it usually goes through Memphis.”
Houston could someday top the charts again though. Laying along the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway linking Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, the city could be able to transport more goods throughout the western world than ever before if the project's completed.
2011 Metro Rankings of the Top Logistics/ Distribution/ Shipping Hubs:
4. LOS ANGELES
5. NEW ORLEANS
6. PORT AUTHORITY OF NY/NJ