Why Kansas City

KC SmartPort is a nonprofit economic development organization that works to attract freight-based companies, such as manufacturing, distribution and warehouses, to the 18-county, bi-state Kansas City region.

The Kansas City Advantage

Kansas City has several key components that make it an excellent hub for all transportation and logistics operations:

  • The largest rail center in the United States by tonnage
  • A business friendly Foreign Trade Zone program that can activate space in under 45 days
  • Located at the intersection of four of the nation’s major interstate highways (I-35, I-70, I-29, I-49)
  • The Kansas City International Airport, which moves more air cargo each year than any air center in a six-state region
  • Located on the largest navigable inland waterway (MO/MS River system)
  • Five of the Class 1 rail lines intersecting in the region (BNSF, CP, KCS, NS, UP)
Learn why KC is an ideal location for freight-based businesses.

The Midwest's Role as a Nationwide Distribution Hub

SCB Video - Midwest as Dist Hub
Source: SupplyChainBrain

KC Regional Growth Opportunities

  • eCommerce
    In 2017 global retail eCommerce sales reached more than $2.3 trillion and are expected to reach approximately $4.8 trillion by 2021.Today, 52 percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to make a purchase online as opposed to buying the same item in-store. The Kansas City area has successfully attracted eCommerce companies pledging to create more than 4,000 jobs, invest $107.12 million and occupy 3.2 million square feet. The Kansas City region’s central location and available skilled workforce are key to a successful e-commerce strategy. Learn more about eCommerce and logistics in the Kansas City area.

  • Automotive
    A recent study by the Brookings Institute listed the KC region as the second most important automotive center in the U.S. Starting in 2013 and continuing into the current year, the Kansas City region has seen significant economic investment from the automotive sector. Reinvestment in General Motors’ Fairfax, Kansas, operation ($650 million) and Ford’s Claycomo, Missouri, facility ($1.2 billion) was most recently capped off with the first Transit van rolling off the line at the Ford Claycomo plant. This has resulted in a surge of interest and investment from automotive suppliers looking to the KC region for new facilities. From April 2013 through April 2015, automotive suppliers committed to create 1,795 new jobs paying $74.1 million and occupy more than 2.2 million sq. ft. of industrial real estate.  View map of suppliers in the KC market.
  • Intermodal 
    With an extensive rail and highway infrastructure, Kansas City is an ideal location for intermodal activity. Kansas City is home to four intermodal parks:
    • KCI Intermodal Business Centre 
    • Northland Park
    • Logistics Park Kansas City
    • CenterPoint Intermodal Center
    • Learn more about these parks on our Real Estate Opportunities page. 
  • Foreign Trade Zones

    The Kansas City FTZ region saw growth of over 100% in the last reported year. Companies are taking advantage of this unique incentive and supply chain benefit. Click here for more information.

Real Estate Opportunities

Foreign Trade Zones

Recruitment Success

Trade Corridor Maps

Workforce Development

Media Coverage