Chicago is America’s true transportation hub.
First, with freight.
Commodities like iron, timber, coal, and grains all moved through Chicago by train.
Now, with airplanes.
It’s a hub for United and American Airlines, and for years, it was the busiest airport in the world.
The Belt Railway is the largest train switching company in America.
They dispatch ~8,400 cars per day.
And it’s based in... you guessed it!... Chicago.
As a comparison, here’s a map of the U.S Highway system which is much more decentralized.
Like America’s population, its center-of-gravity is shifted to the north-east, but it doesn’t run converge at a single point like rail lines do.
Okay, back to trains.
My favorite building in Chicago, the Board of Trade Building, is also one of the most important buildings in the city.
Lots of American commodities moved through Chicago, and this building was the hub for grain trading.
Plus... Art Deco architecture 😍
To find the center-of-gravity for air freight, you have to go South.
The UPS hub is in Louisville, Kentucky.
The FexEx hub is in Memphis, Tennessee.
Both hubs were chosen because they’re centrally located in the U.S. and they have warm weather, so the airports rarely shut down
The center of America's population is now shifting southwest.
It's moving by ~12.8 inches every hour.
You can follow @david_perell.
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.
Enjoy Threader? Sign up.
Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.