What is an inland port?
When I was a truck driver, I remember making multiple pickups and deliveries to and from locations in Joliet, IL. After learning about inland ports, I suspect that some of these companies, intentionally built their warehouses and production facilities near inland ports, like the one in Joliet. This was likely done to facilitate easier and efficient transport. Several trucking companies also have their terminals near Joliet to ensure their positioning for available freight.
Inland ports are also good for transporting goods throughout the continental United States. Even though there may be goods that need to be transported from one port city to another, this type of transport could be difficult, if not impossible, by sea. This is not just a distance, navigational, or geographic challenge, but it could be a legal one as well, as the Jones Act only allows certain vessels to transport goods between United States ports. So, these inland ports and the use of rail and trucks to facilitate transport is beneficial and necessary. Not having this integrated connectivity could cause greater “distance” between markets. This is important because distance is a constant factor that needs to be overcome.