Mid-South Freight Study

Mid-South Region Freight Flows & Industry Analysis


The Mid-South Freight Flows & Industry Analysis is a study conducted by the Memphis MPO, in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, to identify trends and develop recommendations for facilitating the growth of the freight and logistics industries in the tri-state Mid-South region. This study will replace the 2017 Freight Plan and will focus on the future of freight flows and the expansion of the railroad business, trucking, air cargo, waterways, pipeline and warehousing industries in the region. The final plan will be released in Winter 2022.


The Mid-South region is one of the country’s most important logistics hubs. This region is home to Memphis International Airport, which in 2020 was the largest air cargo airport in the world in terms of tonnage. Memphis is also one of only four U.S. cities served by five or more Class 1 railroads, allowing businesses to ship by rail directly to any destination in North America. The Port of Memphis and Port of West Memphis provide access to the most important inland waterway system in the country, the Mississippi River. And finally, the Mid-South region counts with a highway system that connects these logistic assets and provides connectivity throughout the U.S.


The Mid-South Freight Flows & Industry Analysis will provide data and recommendations to best leverage these regional strengths, with the following key components:

  • Freight Flows & Forecasts for the movement of commodities to, from, and within the Mid-South region from the present through the year 2050

  • Analysis of industry issues and emerging trends, from truck and intermodal bottlenecks to e-commerce to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on shipping industries

  • Economic cluster analysis of freight moving industries in the Mid-South region and their forecasted growth, including truck travel patterns


Presentation: Mid-South Region Freight Flows & Industry Analysis