Centrally located in the United States, Illinois is uniquely positioned to efficiently export whole soybeans and soy products around the country and the world.
This map shows how containers or bulk shipments from Illinois move throughout the country. Containers and bulk shipments of soy from Illinois can move through the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, California and even the St. Lawrence Seaway.
- The blue lines show key rivers that take soybeans to the Gulf of Mexico. Illinois has 65 grain elevators along 1,770 kilometers of navigable waterways. These rivers provide the only navigable connection from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
- The gray lines represent railroads. All seven Class I freight lines in North America operate in Illinois on more than 11,200 kilometers of rail track.
- The blue squares mark ports. Rivers and railroads move soy from Illinois to customers and ports around the country. And from those ports soy can head around the world.
Containerized shipping uses standard shipping containers that are loaded and sealed intact onto ships, trains and trucks. Illinois exports about 8% of its soybeans in containers via 22 loading facilities.