About the research
Annually, more than one billion tons of cargo pass through St. Louis, Missouri, making it the “Gateway to the West,” as termed by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (2014). In Missouri, 45% of all cargo traffic moves by railroad, and 49% is transported by truck (Missouri Department of Transportation 2017). As trade continues to flourish in the region, there is increased shipper and carrier demand for making St. Louis an intermodal hub in order to optimize the region’s strategic location, increase profit, and lower transportation costs.
The objective of this study was to assess the asset utilization potential of building a trucking and rail intermodal hub in the St. Louis region by looking at industry history, examining transportation policies and initiatives in the St. Louis region, and evaluating the major stakeholders affected by intermodal initiatives. Because today’s transportation development decisions greatly impact environmental and economic sustainability, in addition to community welfare, the research project also focused on whether a common intermodal hub in St. Louis would minimize trucking and railroad operational and economic costs. The topics of property rights, externalities, net benefit to society, and technological growth are discussed in this research project. Case studies of other cities in the United States that have had success with intermodal development are also presented in this report.
The primary methodology for this project focused on geospatial mapping of providers in the St. Louis region. This information was used to provide a detailed analysis of the creation of a railroad and trucking hub in St. Louis to facilitate the interaction of intermodal trade.
The study explained the primary benefit of reducing intercity transfer costs to showcase the benefits and limitations associated with a common intermodal hub expansion in the St. Louis region. The authors concluded that the benefits outweigh any negatives and proposed the ideal location of the intermodal hub in St. Louis.
Midwest Transportation Center
Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37