Businesses and consumers have vested interests in transportation services within this nation. As the pace of life accelerates, quickly getting goods to and from different locations becomes increasingly important. Transportation hubs have developed in response, serving as centers for shipments traveling over land, sea, and air. These hubs are essential to keeping goods moving throughout the country and to and from overseas.
What Are Transportation Hubs?
A hub or interchange devoted to transport is a location where cargo or passengers are exchanged between the same or different modes of transportation. Included are train stations, bus stations and bus stops, tram stops, airports, ferry slips, and rapid transit stations. Hubs for freight include truck terminals, seaports, and classification yards.
A hub is the center of the hub and spoke distribution model. Each hub allows transport of cargo and passengers from one place to another without requiring direct service between the locations. The hub and spoke system for aviation was pioneered by Delta Airlines in 1955. During the 1970s, FedEx began using this model for its overnight package delivery services.
Major U.S. Transportation Hubs
Some of the largest cities in the country including Chicago and Philadelphia have become major hubs for transportation. Memphis is home to FedEx and a major hub for various modes of transport. The largest port on the eastern coastline of North America, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, experienced near-record levels of cargo volumes during 2010. Houston is home to three airports and a port and is located along the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway.
Exports are responsible for a large part of the recent economic recovery, making trade hubs very important to this nation. In 2012, the leading hub for international trade was the port of Los Angeles. Due to its proximity to the Mexican border, El Paso is a leading hub for land trade as is the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area. New Orleans is a major air hub and Savannah and Charleston are among the top marine transport hubs.
Other important hubs include Detroit, where trucking serves as the main mode of transportation, and Laredo, Texas, the most important truck passage on the border between Mexico and the U.S. The city of Long Beach in California and the port of Houston are other major water hubs. More than 900,000 tons of international air cargo was handled by John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York during 2008, making it a top air hub.