With two interstate highways, three Class I and two short line railroads, commercial and cargo air service at a modern airport, being a nationally recognized hub for the trucking industry, and a nearby port, the Joplin Region has an outstanding transportation system that is highly conducive to locating a manufacturing facility or a distribution center. Add that the Joplin Region is located near the geographic and population centers of North America and has access to transportation in all its modes is key to getting your products to market and your people on the move.


Interstate 44 runs east-west through the region and connects to the east with I-55, I-70, and I-64 in St. Louis and to the west connects with I-35 and I-40 in Oklahoma City. Interstate 49 along with US 69 travel north-south and connect with I-70, I-35, & I-29 in Kansas City to the north and with I-40 to the south. This network creates connections to every region in the country and to Mexico and Canada as well.  These major highway connections are enhanced with numerous state highways that provide efficient market access throughout the region and the greater Midwest area.


The Joplin Region is well known throughout the United States as one of the leaders in the trucking industry. The region is home to over 50 trucking companies that have their headquarters or a terminal in the region. CFI (www.cfidrive.com) has their headquarters in Joplin.  Tri-State Motor Transit specializes in transporting cargo that requires careful handling due to its explosive or contaminant nature.


Three Class 1 railroads and two regional short-line railroads are important parts of our region’s transportation system. Class 1 railroads that serve our region are Kansas City Southern (www.kcsi.com), Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (www.bnsf.com), & Union Pacific (www.up.com). Regional short-line railroads that service the region are Missouri Northern Arkansas Railroad & Watco, which is one of the largest short-line railroads in the U.S. with direct service to its own port in Houston. These rail lines provide direct access to major ports on the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean.


Getting to the Joplin Region is easy from anywhere in the world…..most with just one connection in Dallas. With multiple jet flights daily to/from Dallas (DFW) and Chicago (ORD), the Joplin Regional Airport (JLN) and American Airlines provide commercial and cargo air service in the region. From Dallas and Chicago you can connect nonstop to almost any international airport in the world. The Springfield Regional Airport (SGF), Northwest Arkansas Airport (XNA), and Tulsa International Airport (TUL) are all within 60 – 90 minutes’ drive time. Many of the communities in the region have their own municipal airports as well.


Located 90 miles away from the region in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is one of the largest, most inland river-ports in the United States. Located at the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System in Northeast Oklahoma, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa offers year round, ice-free barge service with river flow levels controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And with worldwide access capabilities, your products can travel easily and efficiently from America’s heartland to the rest of the globe. The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System) is a 440-mile waterway linking Oklahoma and the surrounding five-state area with ports on the nation’s 25,000-mile inland waterway system, and foreign and domestic ports beyond by way of New Orleans and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Because of its south central location, the waterway is operational year-round, regardless of weather conditions.