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The great city of Chicago is located near the Southern most area of Lake Michigan. This is one of the many factors that contribute to Chicago being the sixth largest export market in all the United States. So much so, that 1 in every 5 jobs in Chicago depend on imports or exports.
As we would expect for a city such as Chicago to have the greatest part of its freight transportation to be water born. Besides Chicago having a major freight rail and two major airports, where massive amounts of cargo enter and exit Chicago, its port still takes the lead. Illinois International Port is the port that moves the most cargo in all of the Great Lakes, by moving over 19 million tons of cargo per year. This massive movement of goods and products emerging from all ports in Chicago, would put Chicago among the top 36 ports in all of the United States. The cargo that embarks from these ports travel through the world, having an ever-present role in the global economy.
If Chicago's history shows us one thing, is that Chicago has been an leader and entrepreneur in freight transport since its early years. In 1906 the Chicago Tunnel Company created a railway freight tunnel network that traveled through the entire downtown are of Chicago. Chicago has for decades been a leader in freight transport, which brings no surprise as to why it is one of America's most thriving cities.
Second in population after New York City is Los Angeles, and it's the most populated city in all of California. And when you're that big, you tend to have a lot of industry and supply chain distribution throughout the state and into the U.S. and Mexico.
Los Angeles freight shipping – in trend with other major metros – is performed mainly via truck and rail, but the ports contribute to the volume of freight moving in and out of California. Nearly 75% of all freight movements are made by truck to and from the ocean ports. The Port of Los Angeles or LA sees high volumes of imports and exports, and has major trading partners like China, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan. Consumer goods like furniture, clothing and apparel, and electronics are the items mainly imported to the U.S. through Los Angeles.