Infrastructure repairs along the Illinois River are expected to begin summer 2020, with long-term closures anticipated to significantly affect river transport and drive demand and cost for rail and truck transport. These upcoming repairs come after several short-term closures in 2019 that have impacted freight in and out of Chicago.

Every year, 91 million tons of various commodities are shipped on the Illinois inland waterways, placing the state in the Top 10 for shipments by water, and 28 million tons are shipped on the Illinois River annually. B.L. Duke River Terminal has prepared for the upcoming closures by encouraging shippers to get their product in sooner as rail and truck transport demand and cost are expected to increase. In response to recent growth and the anticipated increase in demand, they have also expanded their rail spur and added additional capacity to their fleet.

“As word of the 2020 Illinois River closures have spread, we’ve seen an increase in inquiries and business for our terminal and warehouse services,” Bri Binnie, VP of Business Development. “We’re encouraging our shippers to act now to get ahead of the closures, particularly as warehouse space is expected to fill up.”

“Even a temporary loss of this vital transportation artery will have a measurable impact on local demand.”

“In 2019, the Illinois and Upper Mississippi River closures put significant downward pressure on the Chicago ferrous scrap markets. The Chicago and Northwest Indiana regions have an oversupply, and thus are net shippers of scrap not only to the southern U.S., but to the Ohio River Valley and export markets,” said Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke. “Even a temporary loss of this vital transportation artery will have a measurable impact on local demand.”

Formerly B.L. Duke River Transport, B. L. Duke River Terminal is a transloading, logistics, and warehousing company that delivers innovation on the move. A wholly-owned subsidiary of B.L. Duke, one of Crain’s 2018 Fast Fifty, you can count on B.L. Duke River Terminal to deliver the safest, highest quality, and most efficient terminal services to meet your needs. For more information, contact [Bri Binnie] at or visit