Have you ever stood on the banks of the Mississippi and watched the barges? They’re really incredible to see. Well, until the early 90s, those barges represented tremendous economic activity for our region that we could only watch as they floated by.
In 1990, the SEMO Port opened it’s 1800’ harbor and forever changed what those barges on the Mississippi would mean to us. Today, the port has several tenants covering approximately 70 acres and they move 1.2 million tons of material by barge each year…an incredible amount.
The port is critical to many businesses in our region because of the sheer volume of goods and material that can be moved. For perspective, one semi-truck carries 25 tons. One rail car carries 115 tons. One barge…1,800 tons. Additionally, barges come in groups. A 42-barge tow group can carry the same as 6 unit trains or more than 3,000 semis.
Once companies have material at the Port, they have both the Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway to choose from. They are also just 3 miles down a nice state highway from the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and Interstate 55.
The SEMO Port is a major asset to our region that often helps us attract businesses, even if they don’t intend to locate at the Port itself and we owe much to the local visionaries who made this project possible and continue to make it a success.