China’s Next Logistics Base: St. Louis Missouri

Saturday, May 3, 2008 5:14
Posted in category Uncategorized

A native of St Louis, I am used to the fact that my hometown is a 2nd tier US city.

The Gateway to the West, we are famous as a good sports town, the Arch, Anheuser Busch, and a few other things… but it is St. Louis’s geographic position that historically gave St. Louis an advantage.

If you have read the book The Box, or perhaps just read my post 3 weeks ago about the impact on US export opportunities following a shortage of containers, then you will have a basic understanding that geographic position + good logistics can = good business. And so it was with great excitement that I read the article St. Louis places a trade bet on China

Economically, St. Louis is a city that used to rely heavily on large companies like TWA, McDonnell Douglas, Monsanto, and Ford to provide its manufacturing base. the problem with that reliance is that many of these firms have moved, been scaled down, or have shuttered… and so a process of revitalization has been occurring, and it appears that St Louis is returning to its roots:

To use our underutilized airport, our rivers, roads and rails, and our location smack in the middle of the heartland to build St. Louis into something like a gateway to the Far East. To build an air freight hub connecting the Midwest and China.

Now, for those that don’t know. St Louis (map here) in my mind is a bit like Wuhan in China. It is half way up the Mississippi river (the largest in the US) with a strong history of river trade, it has several national highways going through the city, it has air cargo, and it has train (although St. Louis is far behind in this area compared to Wuhan).

It all seems perfect right? After all, this could seemingly overcome the container issue I mentioned a few weeks ago… but that still leaves a major hurdle:

Just as important down the road, experts say, will be two-way trade. Empty planes going back to China are not economically feasible, which has been a problem for cargo routes to other U.S. cities.

Where I see this getting interesting though, and the article does skim this topic is that St Louis sits in the middle of the bread basket and it could become a much larger player in the agricultural industry. Not just food, but seed, fertilizer, feed and vaccines as well..

If nothing else, where I am excited is that there are even talks of St. Louis getting the next direct flights to China.. and that would really be appreciated.

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4 Responses to “China’s Next Logistics Base: St. Louis Missouri”

  1. Charles Frith says:

    May 3rd, 2008 at 6:17 am

    There’s an excellent article on Monsanto in Vanity Fair this month. They appear to have alienated a lot of farmers with threatening behaviour.

  2. jim copling says:

    May 29th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I have a BA in International Studies majoring in Chinese Language & Economics. Any suggestions as to how I could get plugged in with companies in St.Louis working abroad in mainland China?

  3. Donald Blum says:

    December 30th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I have an MA in International Relations, with two years living in Shanghai China. Any idea how I could get plugged into this either in St. Louis or in mainland China? Jim would love to hear from you as well.

  4. wholesale packaging boxes says:

    November 6th, 2009 at 5:13 am

    China is definately the next economic superpower. even during this recession the economy is growing 8%. this growth provides all businesses even logistics to make good gains