By rail, by road, by sea or sky, North Carolina’s central location on the eastern seaboard and excellent transportation infrastructure make it an optimal point for access to markets and customers, keeping freight and delivery costs low.
Location & Accessibility
Major interstates, international airports and deep-water seaports keep commerce moving across North Carolina, the United States and the world. And the home base is growing, too: Currently ranked as the ninth most-populous state in the U.S., our population recently surpassed 10 million, thanks to a growth rate nearly twice the national average.
North Carolina’s central location makes it easily accessible from anywhere on the East Coast, keeping freight and delivery costs low.
North Carolina offers global market access via the second-largest state-maintained highway system in the U.S., four major airports and two seaports.
Nation’s fifth-busiest airline hub located in Charlotte
North Carolina is one plane change away from virtually any major city in the world.
Enjoy convenient access to domestic and global markets via four international airports:
- Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT), the nation’s fifth-busiest hub
- Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
- Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
The state also is home to 11 regional and more than 100 general aviation facilities.
Two deep-water seaports along Atlantic shipping lines
The North Carolina coast is home to two deep-water seaports:
Port of Morehead City
- Container and general cargo operations
- 42-foot channel and berth depth
- Direct access to I-40, I-74, I-95, U.S. 17 and U.S. 74
- Served by CSX
Port of Wilmington
- General cargo and bulk handling facility
- 45-foot channel, 38- to 42-foot depth
- Access to I-95 and I-40 via U.S. 70 and U.S. 17
- Served by Norfolk Southern
In addition, inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro sit at the heart of the Southeast’s manufacturing and distribution sites.
Largest consolidated rail system in the country
North Carolina is home to the largest consolidated rail system in the country. These rail connections extend all the way to the coast, enabling the state ports in Morehead City and Wilmington to offer import and export services to a large market.
Highlights of our rail system include:
- More than 3,200 miles of track
- Service to 22 states in the eastern half of the country
- More than 20 carriers, including Class 1 carriers CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, as well as several affiliated railroads and many independently owned carriers
Second-largest state-owned highway system
North Carolina boasts the second-largest state-owned highway system in the nation, comprised of more than 90,000 miles of road. What’s more, the state’s central East Coast location offers easy access to some of the country’s most important transportation corridors.
Major controlled-access arteries include:
- I-95, the major East Coast interstate linking New England to Florida
- I-85, running from North Carolina through the manufacturing heart of the Southeast
- I-40, spanning the country coast-to-coast from North Carolina to California