See how Memphis rises to the top of nation’s most sought-after rankings.
You heard it here first – our city has so much to brag about. From arts and entertainment to business success, get the facts on why so many people love to call Memphis home.
Transportation & Logistics
Led by the FedEx World Headquarters, Memphis is centrally located in the United States and a hub for all modes of transportation across the country and beyond, creating jobs and opportunities in our city and connecting us all over the world.
- International gateway for product export and import via four Foreign Trade Zones
- Home to the FedEx World Hub and major hubs for UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Air National Guard.
- The Memphis workforce has more experienced logistics workers per capita than any other top 100 U.S. city, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
- Memphis was ranked as the number 1 “Logistics Leader” in the country and was ranked second globally by Business Facilities magazine in 2016.
- Memphis ranked 4th for “Best Cost of Living” in 2015 by Business Facilities magazine.
- Memphis ranked 26th out of 100 U.S. metros in total value of products exported in 2015, exporting over $11.8 billion.
- Global Trade magazine named Memphis one of the “America’s Best Cities for Global Trade,”ranking Memphis 3rd for best infrastructure in 2015.
- For 23 years, Memphis International Airport, “America’s Aerotropolis” has been the busiest cargo airport in North America.
- Weather does not impact operations at Memphis International Airport 99.2% of the time.
- Memphis International Airport was ranked No. 1 for mobile data coverage among the top 50 airports by RootMetrics in 2015.
- I-40 connects the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and runs directly through Memphis. The stretch between Memphis and Little Rock is the 3rd-busiest trucking corridor in the nation.
- Memphis is the halfway point of the new 2,600-mile, I-69 superhighway connecting Canada to Mexico currently under construction.
- Memphis is the 3rd-largest rail center in the United States behind Chicago and St. Louis.
- Memphis is one of four U.S. cities with five Class I railroads: BNSF, Canadian National, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.
- Memphis is home to five of the largest wide-span cranes in the country because of BNSF’s $200 million newly expanded intermodal facility.
- Home to nine fully-operational rail yards with a total current container capacity of more than 2 million annual lifts
- By train, Memphis can reach 45 states (including Canada and Mexico) within 2 days.
- Single system shipment to all 48 contiguous states, and Alaska, Mexico, and Canada
- The International Port of Memphis is the 5th-largest inland port in the United States and 2nd-largest inland port on the shallow draft portion of the Mississippi River.
- The largest still water harbor on the Mississippi River
- Port of Memphis handles more than 14.7 million tons annually.
- The International Port of Memphis is also home to the Valero petroleum refinery, the only refinery in the State of Tennessee.
Memphis is a hotspot for business in the Southeast and across the nation. Business leaders here have multiple incentives to operate their companies in the Bluff City, and entrepreneurs can make an impact like in no other place, with a workforce and economy ready to help business succeed.
- In 2017, a study by the Urban Land Institute ranked Memphis #4 among U.S. cities where millennials are moving.
- In 2016, WalletHub, a leading personal finance outlet, ranked Memphis 4th for Best Places for Women Owned Businesses. The study looked at 10 key metrics and also ranked Memphis 4th for Overall New-Business Friendliness out of 100 metros.
- In a report published in March 2016, The Center for an Urban Future found that Memphis had the highest women-owned business growth between 2007 and 2012 among the 25 largest cities in the U.S. Women-owned businesses grew 116% in that time period and by 2012, there were 35,710 female owned business.
- Adobo ranked Memphis #7 for Healthcare Practitioners & Technical Occupations in their report on the Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2016.
- Area Development magazine named Tennessee 4th in their 2016 “Top States for Doing Business” survey of location consultants. Tennessee also ranked in the Top 5 for Overall Cost of Doing Business, Business Incentive Programs, Leading Workforce Development, Favorable Regulatory Environment, and Speed of permitting.
- GoodCall ranked Memphis among the “2016 Best Places for Law School Graduates” because of high salaries, affordable housing, and a high number of job opportunities.
- In 2015, Memphis was designated as an Investment in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) community. The Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance was led by the Greater Memphis Chamber and includes nine surrounding counties.
- In 2015, a WalletHub study named Memphis the 7th “Best City to Start a Business.”
- In 2015, Glassdoor, a workplace review and job search website, ranked Memphis 18th for their “25 Best Cities for Jobs” list.
- A 2015 NerdWallet survey ranked Memphis the 4th best place for black-owned businesses. NerdWallet is a personal finance website.
- Area Development magazine awarded Tennessee the “Gold Shovel Award” for economic development success in 2015, in part due to Target’s announcement of a new distribution center in Memphis.
- Tennessee was ranked as having the #2 “Best Business Climate” by Business Facilities magazine in 2015. Tennessee also ranked #1 for “Education: Tech Skills Leaders” for investments and improvements in education, #1 for “Automotive Manufacturing Strength,” and #1 for “Workforce Training Leaders.”
Memphis is home to a myriad of corporations and world headquarters, leading the world across industries powered from the Bluff City. Read how we rank and how Memphis corporations are making headlines for their success.
Three Fortune 500 world headquarters (2016):
World HQ for two of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” (2016)
World HQ for three of Forbe’s World’s Biggest Public Companies” (2016)
World HQ for two of Fortune’s “Global 500” (2016)
World HQ for three of Industry Week’s “U.S. 500” (2016)
Corporate Knights‘ 2016 “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World” companies with a Memphis area presence are:
Over 15 companies with a Memphis area presence were named as Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2016.” The highest ranked in Memphis are:
Over 50 Memphis area companies were ranked in Newsweek’s “Top 500 U.S. Green Companies for 2016.”
Entrepreneur’s 2016 “Franchise 500” rankings of Memphis-based franchises
Twelve Memphis area companies were r ranked on the “Inc. 5000” 2016 list which ranks the fastest growing private companies in the U.S.
Other Memphis-Based Companies
Memphis is home to major operations for more than 200 foreign-owned companies.
The Memphis area is also home to world-renowned companies like:
Your Chamber at Work
The Greater Memphis Chamber has been an advocate for businesses in the Mid-South for nearly 180 years. We are proud of the efforts we’ve made to support our city’s businesses and hope to continue to work for our greater success for centuries to come.
- The Greater Memphis Chamber was one of 3 recipients honored with the 2016 Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence. Our International Business Council was praised in addition to the newly formed Memphis Metro Export Alliance.
- The Greater Memphis Chamber’s Communication team took home the Gold Award for Marketing Communications Promotions for our Chamber 101 events at the Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2016 Vox Awards.
- In November 2015, the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Communication Team took home 5 awards for 3 marketing campaigns at the 2015 PRSA Vox Awards:
It All Starts in Memphis
Many of the forerunners and existing businesses that make up today’s American economy were founded in Memphis. This city continues to be a place where entrepreneurs can thrive, following trails blazed by so many innovators before them.
- The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was developed in Memphis in 1916.
- Kemmons Wilson envisioned reliable, standardized hotel service when he created the first Holiday Innin Memphis, the first modern hotel chain.
- Since its founding in 1971, FedEx has revolutionized the logistics industry. Among FedEx’s many firsts are:
- The first company dedicated to overnight package delivery
- The first express company to introduce the overnight letter
- The first to offer 10:30 a.m. next-day delivery
- The first to offer Saturday delivery and the first express company to offer time-definite service for freight
- The first in the industry with money-back guarantees and free proof of performance, services that now extend to its worldwide network
- Tri-State Bank was founded in 1946 by Dr. J. E. Walker and his son A. Maceo Walker. Tri-State Bank was and still is the largest African-American run bank in Tennessee.
- Robert Church was the South’s first African-American millionaire
- In 1906, Church founded the Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company. It was the first black-owned and operated bank in Memphis.
- Robert Church developed Church Park, Memphis’ only park for African Americans at that time.
- In 1923, Dr. J. E. Walker founded Universal Life Insurance in Mississippi
- Universal Life Insurance relocated to Memphis in 1926. By 1947, Universal Life Insurance became the second African American company in America to “attain million-dollar-capital status.”
- The hydraulic lift was invented by an Italian immigrant to Memphis and was later adopted by German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp
- Greyhound and Continental Trailways bus lines ran across North America from humble beginnings in Memphis.
- Shering Plough, now part of Merck, was known for Coppertone, Afrin, Dr. Shoal’s and many other over-the-counter products.
Leading Innovations in Healthcare
From well-known care from organizations like St. Jude to excellence in health science education, award-winning primary care and a hub of medical device manufacturing, Memphis leads the way in healthcare on all fronts.
Shelby County is the 2nd-largest orthopedic device manufacturing center in the U.S.
Home to divisional or corporate headquarters to orthopedic and medical device leaders: Medtronic,MicroPort Orthopedics, Smith & Nephew and Wright Medical.
Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, Memphis is home to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
- The premier center for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases
- The first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, receiving an “exceptional” score, the highest rating awarded.
- St. Jude was ranked as the #4 hospital in the country for Children’s Cancer on U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals in the U.S.” list in 2016.
- Ranked 35th on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work” for in 2016
- ALSAC/St. Jude is America’s 5th largest healthcare charity, according to Forbes’ 2016 list of “50 Largest U.S. Charities.”
- Ranked 47th on Forbes 2016 list of “America’s Best Midsize Employers“
- St. Jude made the Becker Hospital Review magazine’s 2016 “100 Great Hospitals in America” and the 2016 “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” list.
- Employs more than 3,200 clinicians, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, administrators and information technology specialists from around the globe, including Peter Doherty, PhD, of the Department of Immunology. Dr. Doherty was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for key discoveries he made about the workings of the immune system.
Baptist Memorial Hospital has six metro hospitals, the Reynolds Hospice House and an expanding number of physician clinics and clinical specialties.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare operates seven hospitals in the Memphis area, including Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center – the Mid-South’s premier pediatric health care provider.
- Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare ranked as the Best Hospital in Memphis and the #3 hospital system in Tennessee by U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 “Best Hospitals” list.
- Methodist ranked as “High Performing” in five adult specialties, and among the top 50 U.S hospitals in seven pediatric specialties on the U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 “Best Hospitals” list.
- Methodist was named one of the “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” by Becker’s Healthcaremagazine in 2016.
- Methodist University Hospital conducts the Mid-South’s only minimally invasive integrated surgical procedure that removes colon polyps.
- Le Bonheur’s Children’s Hospital, part of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system, treats more than 200,000 children each year.
- LeBonheur Children’s has been named one of U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 Best Children’s Hospitals, and is ranked nationally in seven specialties.
- Le Bonheur is the only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center in the region certified by the American College of Surgeons. With over 34,000 square feet, the trauma center serves the entire region, receiving an average of 220 traumas per day.
- Le Bonheur’s Neuroscience Institute, in conjunction with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is home to one of the nation’s largest brain tumor programs. Le Bonheur Children’s receives brain tumor patients from over 40 states, and employs 3 pediatric neurosurgeons.
- In 2011, Le Bonheur and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center joined forces to create the region’s only multi-specialty physician practice focused solely on pediatrics. University of Tennessee Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists(ULPS) includes more than 100 pediatric subspecialists.
Regional One Health is home to one of the busiest Level 1 Trauma Center in the nation, with approximately 4,500 admissions annually.
Memphis is home to the Church Health Center (CHC), a faith-based clinic that provides quality, affordable healthcare to 50,000 working, uninsured people and their families. In the United States, the CHC is the largest faith-based clinic of its kind.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, one of four medical schools in the State of Tennessee, spun off two new bioscience companies and a research park that are making national headlines: GTx – a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to men’s health and Luminetx – a bioscience technologies company that made headlines with THE VEINVIEWER, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most innovative medical inventions of the year.
The College of Medicine is affiliated with three of the six level 1 trauma centers in the State of Tennessee.
- The 1996 Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Peter C. Doherty in the ‘Physiology or Medicine’ category. Dr. Doherty is an adjunct faculty member for the College of Medicine’s pediatric department.
- Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs underwent a complete liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital in 2009 performed by James D. Eason, M.D., FACS, a UTHSC graduate and practicing physician at Methodist University Hospital.
- UTHSC’s Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Kennard Brown is an active board member for The Memphis Medical District Collaborative, a local non-profit entity dedicated to improving the livability and overall prosperity of Memphis’ Medical District.
- The University of Tennessee College of Medicine launches the world’s first Mobile Stroke Unit with Advanced CT imaging capabilities including CT Angiography Imaging for brain and blood vessels and producing advanced quality imaging for stroke diagnosis and noninvasive CT-angiography with a Siemens SOMATOM