The Metropolis Freight Plan: Delivering the Goods (2004)

“The Metropolis Freight Plan: Delivering the Goods” was produced by Chicago Metropolis 2020, a non-profit organization created by the Commercial Club of Chicago.

“Few of us spend much time thinking about how the shelves of our grocery stores are always fully stocked or how a package mailed from New York City one afternoon can arrive at our homes and offices before noon the following day. Too often, we take for granted the efficient delivery of freight into our region, out of our region and throughout our region. Freight is coming and going, sometimes at a snail’s pace inside the semi-trailers stuck with us on the Edens Expressway and sometimes on freight cars pulled slowly along the railroad tracks that block the road home to our families. Trucks move $572 billion worth of goods in our region each year, and railroads transport $350 billion in goods.

Because of poor regional planning and inadequate infrastructure, the freight often travels very slowly and contributes greatly to traffic congestion in the Chicago region.By all projections, the situation is going to worsen in the future. If that happens, traffic jams on our highways and side streets will become much, much worse, and shippers are going to look for ways to avoid moving their goods through our region. The impact will make it difficult for businesses that need fast, dependable freight service and will be a blow to freight industry workers, who number more than 87,000 at our railroads and trucking firms today.

Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed civic organization, has spent months looking into this problem and developing solutions that will help the region avoid such a crisis. Aided by generous financial support from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust and guided by a senior project team, we have consulted experts in freight systems. We have used the most modern technical tools for analysis, reviewed freight plans and ideas from around the world, and interviewed a variety of leaders from industry, government and civic organizations.”

To request a pdf version of “The Metropolis Freight Plan: Delivering the Goods,” please contact Edward Bury at:

Author / Presenter:

James LaBelle

Presentation Date / Publication Date: