Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by company and local officials to open a new intermodal container facility at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur. The facility will enable businesses to tap into the company's deep transportation and logistics expertise and provide a platform for economic growth in central Illinois. Today's event is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to creating jobs and driving Illinois' economy forward.
"ADM is one of the key reasons Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest, and this new facility will help even more businesses get their goods to domestic and foreign markets more easily and cost effectively," Governor Quinn said. "Expanding markets for Illinois products creates jobs here at home and drives our economy forward."
The intermodal ramp, located on 250 acres of land at ADM's Decatur processing complex, offers direct access to three Class I railroads and close proximity to several major highways. This unique interchange offers ready access to coasts and export markets, and provides proximity to 95 million customers within a day's drive. The facility itself has two high-capacity cranes that can handle 50,000 containers per year, with room to grow to 150,000.
Construction of the intermodal ramp was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The interchange will help local businesses move their products to market more quickly and more cost effectively.
"ADM's new intermodal facility will offer businesses of every type the ability to access markets anywhere, at any time, and do so quickly and cost-effectively," ADM Transportation President Scott Fredericksen said. "We are optimistic that businesses in our region will join us to help drive the economic growth this facility is capable of catalyzing. With strong support from our leaders in Springfield and Macon County, we've been able to get this project off the drawing board and into operation quickly. We look forward to seeing it reach its full potential."
Intermodal containers can be loaded with virtually any type of product and are transported by truck, railcar and ship. Their flexibility and standard size have made them popular worldwide; there are an estimated 17 million intermodal containers in the world today, and the American Association of Railroads reports that between 2010 and 2012, U.S. intermodal container freight volumes increased nearly 10 percent.
Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest in the U.S. Exports from Illinois rose 5.1 percent to $68.1 billion in 2012 after soaring 30 percent in 2011. Direct exports account for nearly 10 percent of the Gross State Product.
In 2012, Governor Quinn established the Illinois Export Advisory Council to work to increase exports by providing high-level recommendations on state and federal policies and programs. The Council consists of 21 top Illinois CEOs and private sector leaders that drive international trade for Illinois. Council members serve as international ambassadors for Illinois, helping businesses showcase Illinois' competitive strengths in the international marketplace