Memphis, Tennessee Freight Shipping Quotes

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Freight Shipping in Memphis

Tennessee was in the top 10 states for greatest value of inbound freight shipments ($300,747 million) and outbound freight shipments ($296,833 million) in 2017, and in the top 20 for domestic freight shipments ($113,910 million). Tennessee also had the eighth most van loads of any U.S. state in 2020, with a total of 652,628 loads.

Of all the cities in Tennessee, Memphis stands out as being uniquely suited for freight shipping.

In fact, Memphis is one of the most important distribution centers in the U.S., home to road, rail, air, and river facilities as well as a Foreign Trade Zone at its Uniport. Additional features that facilitate freight shipping in Memphis include:

  • Memphis International Airport, the world’s busiest cargo airport and one of the fastest-growing airports in the U.S.
  • The Memphis River Port, the fourth largest port in the U.S. and the second largest inland port on the Mississippi River, which connects Memphis to a network of 25,000 miles of inland waterways
  • Three still-water harbors, including intermodal connections, grain elevators, loading facilities, and public terminals
  • More than 300 common carriers that service the area, including all the major truck lines
  • More than 100 terminals offering direct services to the contiguous U.S. states, Mexico, and Canada
  • Five Class 1 rail systems (only three cities in the U.S. have five or more of these systems)
  • Three interstate highways, eight federal highways, and seven state highways

Despite this bustling freight activity, Memphis residents enjoy shorter-than-average travel times — another reason this city is ideal for freight shipping.

Major Industries and Commercial Activity in Memphis

Prominent industries in Memphis include major manufacturing, banking and finance, real estate, nonprofits, restaurants, science and technology, retail, tourism, and agribusiness. Three Fortune 500 company headquarters are located in Memphis: FedEx, International Paper, and AutoZone.
The Memphis area produces a wide variety of goods, including chemicals, clothing, machinery, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, cosmetics, smokeless tobacco, ceiling fans, bubble gum, and gift wrap.

Historically, Memphis was known as a trading hub for hardwood and cotton, and these items still figure prominently in the city’s agribusiness. Memphis continues to be a major marketing hub for hardwood, other wood products, and paper products and a major trade center for cotton — 40% of the United States’ cotton crop is traded here and three of the largest cotton dealers in the world are located here.

Tennessee also produces a number of agricultural crops, including soybeans, cattle and calves, broilers, corn, horticultural products, dairy products, hay, tobacco, tomatoes, wheat, eggs, snap beans, apples, grain sorghum, peaches, squash, farm chickens, sheep, and goats.

Tennessee’s top interstate trading partners are Georgia, Texas, California, and Kentucky.

How Weather Impacts Freight Shipping in Memphis

Shippers transporting freight anywhere in Tennessee should take weather into account — the state had 26 extreme weather events in the decade between 2007 and 2016 alone, including 18 severe storms, four droughts, two floods, one hurricane, and one wildfire. Since 2010, Memphis specifically has seen four severe storms, three tornadoes, three floods, one snow and ice storm, and one drought.

To protect both your freight and your carriers, always plan ahead when scheduling shipments in Memphis and prepare for unforeseen weather.

Freight Carriers in Memphis

Unsurprisingly, given the active freight industry in Memphis and surrounding areas, truck driving is the most common job in Tennessee.

Convoy’s relationships with carriers make it easier to navigate these plentiful carrier options. In the Memphis area alone, our digital freight network includes almost 50,000 trucks serving nearly 500 facilities — allowing us to connect you with both a reliable carrier and a competitive rate.

Memphis Freight Shipping Rates

Access safe and experienced freight carriers to haul your loads. Get an instant freight shipping quote for shipments to or from Memphis with Convoy today.