Cates Landing Port in West Tennessee Enhances the Area's Business Climate

Port of Cates Landing
Port of Cates Landing
The Port of Cates Landing is the only developable site on the Mississippi River between Memphis and Cairo, Ill.

As it nears completion, the massive Port of Cates Landing in West Tennessee is drawing interest from shippers and manufacturers throughout the United States.

The port, which will be accessible to barge traffic year round following its completion in 2010, sits on the only developable site on the Mississippi River above the 100-year flood plain between Memphis and Cairo, Ill.

The port, near Tiptonville, has 9,000 linear feet of slack-water harbor, expandable to 14,000 linear feet, and sits close to Interstate 55, I-155, I-40, I-24 and I-69, as well as the major air and rail freight centers of Memphis and the Canadian National Railway line. Its intermodal port dock will serve barge, rail and truck traffic and is likely to see plenty of all three, says Jimmy Williamson, Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority chairman.

“We have shown prospective users the state study that shows a gallon of fuel moves a ton of freight 59 miles by truck, 212 by rail and 500 or more by water, so it’s a much cheaper mode of transportation,” he says.

The potential is what caught the eye of U.S. Rep. John Tanner, who helped shepherd federal funds to the port project.

“It is the most important economic development project in Northwest Tennessee in my lifetime, and the positive impact will be felt for generations to come,” he says.

To that end, Tanner predicts that the port will soon anchor a thriving hub not only for intermodal transportation, but other businesses as well.

“The possibilities are limitless,” he says. “A University of Memphis study projected as many as 5,600 new jobs for West Tennessee. That will not only have a huge impact throughout West Tennessee, but also benefit the state through creating more jobs, generating more income and increasing tax revenues.”

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