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Market Orientation

As the largest metropolitan area within 150 miles of downtown, Memphis is a major economic engine for the state of Tennessee and the economic hub of a three-state region that includes Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. More than 1.35 million people live in the Memphis MSA and nearly 5 million people live in the three-state region known as the Mid-south.

Geographically positioned as a gateway between cities in the eastern and western United States, Memphis serves as a major connection for many transcontinental shipments. Complementing its strategic positioning, our integrated transportation system of road infrastructure, rail mainlines, river ports, and the 2nd busiest cargo airport in the world connect global brands to consumers with ease.

Distance to Major Markets (miles)

Note: The map application allows a user to toggle between unique layers. To do so, single-click the double arrow in the top-left of the map application. This will display the legend and allow a user to check or uncheck multiple layers of interest. Additionally, adjusting the basemap selection will allow for additional insights.

Regional Infrastructure Maps

Memphis is a city that was built around the railroads. Memphis can reach 45 states and Canada and Mexico by rail within 2 days and is one of only four cities in the U.S. to be served by 5 class I railroads. Single system shipment is available to all 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Access to rail is available 24/7 at nine intermodal yards throughout the Memphis metro. Home to five wide-span cranes, the intermodal yards have a lift capacity of more than 2 million TEUs annually.

Class-I Railroads Highlights:

  • Union Pacific (UP) operates its most eastern location in Memphis, connecting our city to the western United States and moving cotton, lumber, processed foods and more.
  • BNSF Railway (BNSF) expanded its Tennessee Yard to 1,000,000 container lifts per year from 250,000. The expansion includes parking for more than 6,000 trucks, an automated inventory tracking system, five loading cranes and more.
  • Norfolk Southern (NS) operates three intermodal tracks and provides stacking capabilities, on load and off load services and access 7 days per week.
  • Canadian National Railroad (CN) completed a $100 million expansion to its Harrison Yard with a new capacity of 3,100 freight cars with 45 tracks which allows it to handle 35 or more freight trains per day.
  • CSX Corporation (CSX) shares an intermodal yard with CN and operates intermodal and automobile distribution terminals in Memphis.


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Greater Memphis Chamber | 100 Peabody Place, Suite 1000 | Memphis, TN 38103 | 901-543-3500
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