Contact Us
(352) 282-4588
Get a Quote

Transloading Services In Chicago: Shipping Solutions in the Windy City

View of a city from a highway
Transloading Services In Chicago: Shipping Solutions in the Windy City
Transloading services in Chicago is an awesome tool to use when you need to get goods in and out of the Windy City. In a city like Chicago where demand for goods is high, transloading will need to be used during some point in the shipping process. Transloading services in Chicago will allow you to [
By Jacob Lee
 | September 28, 2022
 | Share
Copy URL to Clipboard
Last Modified: December 20, 2023

Transloading services in Chicago is an awesome tool to use when you need to get goods in and out of the Windy City. In a city like Chicago where demand for goods is high, transloading will need to be used during some point in the shipping process.

Transloading services in Chicago will allow you to import and export time-sensitive goods quickly. Ports like the Illinois International Port District serve as a transport hub to other locations. As such, goods have to be transported by rail and truck or with barges traveling down the Mississippi River from the city. 

Before using transloading services in Chicago, you should first understand more details about the service and how it will benefit you. 

Semi truck parked at the dock doors of a transload facility

Why You Need Transload Services In Chicago

As we’ve discussed, Chicago is a pretty busy place when it comes to the supply chain. Goods that come into the city are often coming in from Canada via Lake Michigan. Any goods that go out can travel to other major cities like Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis and other locations along the Mississippi River. Regardless of the situation, you’ll find that transloading will be useful. 

Exports To Canada

Some of the goods that the U.S. exports to Canada are shipped from Chicago. The state of Illinois itself exports about $18.4 billion worth of goods into Canada every year. 

Some of the goods that Illinois exports include:

  • Agricultural products
  • Chemical goods
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Plastics and rubbers

These goods arrive at the Port of Chicago and are then loaded onto a barge. Once aboard the barge, the goods will travel on this form of transportation. Read our article on barge transload shipping for more information about this great service.

Imports From Canada

As with exports, imports coming into the U.S. have to pass through the Port of Chicago. The state of Illinois imports around $45.3 billion in goods from Canada. Illinois imports pretty much the same type of goods as it exports to Canada. 

Some of the most popular materials and products imported from Canada through the port of Chicago are reflected in the table below.

Goods Imported From Canada Through the Port Of Chicago

GoodsAmount Of Goods In Dollars
Crude Petroleum$30.4 billion
Natural Gas and Other Types Of Gasses$1.8 billion
Pearls, Gems, Jewelry and Other Types of Precious Metals$1.2 billion
Pasta, Breads and Cereal$627 million
Iron, steel alloys and semi-finished products$528 million

Provided by the Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner

The import process is pretty much the same as the export process, except that it goes in reverse. Goods arrive at the Port of Chicago by barge and are unloaded onto trucks. Many shippers view transloading as an optional service.

Most of the time it is, but in cases like this, transloading is often necessary. There are no entry points from Lake Erie, where the port of Chicago is located, into any type of river. As a result, goods must be unloaded from a barge into a truck or even a rail to get to their destination.  

This is especially helpful when it comes to transporting agricultural goods,  a top import product. Since agricultural goods can expire, anything that speeds up the process is useful. Transloading from one mode of transport to another removes the need for storage. This makes shipping faster and ensures that perishable goods get to their destination in time.’

If you want to send goods to Canada, check out our transloading in Canada article to learn more.

A warehouse that performs transloading services in Chicago

Central Transport Hub

Another reason why transloading services in Chicago are a much-needed service is that the city is a central transport hub. Of the seven largest railroads in the U.S., six of them operate in or around Chicago, accounting for around 50 percent of the rail movement in the country.

With such excellent access to railroads for transportation, it only makes sense to use rail shipping when you have to transport goods extremely long distances. Chicago produces a lot of its goods so it ships to many locations. 

To show what a popular transport hub Chicago is, here are some of the most common goods shipped by rail and truck from the city:

  • Coal
  • Bulk products
  • Basic chemicals
  • Light petroleum oils
  • Miscellaneous medications
  • Cell phones
  • Aircraft engines and related parts

With Chicago’s sprawling railroads and highways, goods such as these can greatly benefit from transload services. 

Largest Port In Illinois

Chicago is the largest port in Illinois. Transloading is necessary to compensate for all the modes of transportation that are used to move freight from one place to the next. There are many facilities that you can choose from that will perform translaoding services for you. 

If you need transloading, then Transload Services USA can help find locations and facilities that meet your specific needs.

Looking to ship and store items seamlessly?
Let Transload Services USA be your partner.
Get a quote
Three barges docked near a shore

How Do I Find the Right Type Of Barge and Truck For Transloading?

When shipping in or out of Chicago, you’re going to need to make sure that your goods are translaoded onto a form of transport that has the right equipment. Some types of goods require specialized equipment for them to be moved. With two simple steps, you can figure out what equipment the mode of transport needs to have when it carries your goods. 

Determine What Goods You’re Shipping

The first step you need to take involves determining what goods you’re shipping and how they can be transported. Palletizing freight is a common method used for shipping. 

If your goods are within any of the following containers, chances are you’ll be able to ship them on a pallet:

  • Boxes
  • Cartoons
  • Barrels
  • Cans

If you’re transporting dry bulk goods, then palletizing them will not be an option. Instead, you will need to utilize some type of pneumatic container to move the goods to another destination. 

Some examples of dry bulk goods include:

  • Oil
  • Grain
  • Coal
  • Iron ore

Many transloading facilities in Chicago can also provide cross-docking services as well. Learn more about cross-docking within our article about the subject.

Find A Barge Or Truck That Can Transport Your Type Of Goods 

When you need to move palletized or non-palletized freight, a dry van trailer is your best option. Dry vans provide plenty of room for freight to be stacked securely. A boxcar is used to move palletized and non-palletized freight by railway. If you’re using inland waterways to move your goods, then an inland barge is what you’ll need.  

Dry bulk goods, on the other hand, will need to be transported with a pneumatic trailer, a pneumatic railcar, or a hopper barge. These modes of transport have the equipment needed to safely store dry bulk goods while delivering them to their destination. 

There are a variety of different carriers, rail companies, and barge services within Chicago. Each of them will have vehicles with the necessary equipment to safely transload and transport your goods to your desired destination. 

How Transload Services USA Can Help You

At Transload Services USA, we can help you with a variety of services that go just beyond transloading. Cross-docking is one that our customers find very useful. If your freight is rejected upon delivery, you can take your shipment to one of our facilities. There, our warehouse workers can unload your trailer and fix the shipment for you.

Our full suite of services includes:

Regardless of what your needs are, contact us for a quote or call us at (352) 282-4588. We guarantee that our transload services can make the shipping process go much smoother for you. 

Copy URL to Clipboard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top magnifiercrosscross-circle