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Understanding supply chains and their role in the Chicago region's economy

Metropolitan Chicago is one of the nation's few centers of global commerce.  Previous CMAP research has explored how our region's numerous infrastructure assets support the nation's third largest freight and manufacturing industry clusters in the U.S.  Our region's connectedness makes metropolitan Chicago a hub for the movement of goods on a local, national, and international scale, with an estimated $1.3 trillion in goods moving into and out of the region each year.  The region's diverse set of industries trade roughly $365 billion in goods with domestic partners and $245 billion in goods internationally. Understanding the characteristics of the region's trade activities can help identify the transportation needs of our region's industries.

CMAP's new Chicago Region Supply Chain Trends and Trading Partners report assesses the flow of goods into and out of metropolitan Chicago and explores the decisions that drive logistics choices in the region's manufacturing cluster.  The report analyzes the flow of various commodities into and out of the region by mode, origin, and destination, and identifies the region's major trading partners.  The report also identifies current and future challenges for supporting the changing nature of goods movement. 

Supporting modern supply chains

In today's economy, freight movements include the shipment of goods over longer distances, via multiple modes, and at higher frequencies.  GO TO 2040 underscores the importance of investing in infrastructure in a way that supports our region's industries. Investments in public and private transportation infrastructure that consider both individual and industry benefits can help the region's economy grow.  At the most fundamental level, reinvestment is needed to modernize the region's existing transportation system.  There is also a need to continue to plan for the growing movement of multimodal freight, which shippers increasingly rely on to move goods.  Investments that focus on modernizing existing infrastructure and addressing the needs of multimodal freight system will ensure the free flow of freight into and out of metropolitan Chicago and enhance the region's global competitiveness.  

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