Decatur’s centralized geography allows for a one-day truck drive distribution reach to more than 95 million consumers within a 500-mile radius. There are more food and beverage expenditures in a 500-mile radius of Decatur than most other Midwestern cities: $284 billion from Decatur, $251 billion from Chicago, and $278 billion from St. Louis.
Decatur is home to global food giants Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Tate & Lyle. The Midwest Inland Port’s location can also provide a solution for smaller companies, like National Foodworks Services, a food incubator like many around the country taking hold to provide a more cost-effective solution to develop, market, and move goods; Soozie’s Doozies, a cookie dough company that moved to Decatur from St. Louis after they won ADM’s Food Innovation Challenge; and Stratas Foods, a supplier of fats and oils to the food service, food ingredients, and retail private label markets in North America.
Strategically located, the logistics complex encompasses rail, air, and trucking—offering uncongested, toll-free access to one of the country’s heaviest trucking and railway traffic flows, connected to Interstates 72, 55, 74, 57, and U.S. Highway 51.
In addition to its highway and rail networks, Decatur has a 2,000-acre airport with 8,400-foot runways capable of supporting wide-body cargo aircraft. The quick-access airport benefits companies transporting seafood and other perishable foods coming from the coasts that need to be flown in for Midwest territory distribution.
There’s also direct access to three Class 1 Railroads (NS, CN, CSX) connecting to all North American rail networks. And the ADM Intermodal ramp with 25-minute average turn times allows drivers to spend more time on the road covering greater distances rather than sitting in long lines cutting into valuable drive time.
Rural King, a farm and home store based 40 miles southeast of Decatur in Mattoon, Ill., has over 100 stores in 13 states. It relies on the inland port for some imports that are railed to Decatur from Canada and Los Angeles. The company picks up those goods with its own trucks and takes them to its distribution center at Mattoon.
“We used to bring everything in through Chicago. The wait time and delays continuously stalled on-time delivery,” says Alex Melvin, president of Rural King. “It made sense for us to move to the Midwest Inland Port. The ease of use and savings in both time and dollars has had a positive impact on our logistics operations.”
Getting fresh goods to market that are still fresh upon arrival remains a major challenge for retailers around the country. Taking advantage of inland ports can relieve pressure for companies that need quick turnaround and transport times.