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International Auto Shipping from the Rivers of the United States

Aug 5, 2008
The Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Arkansas River are the three elements of a trade route that has made international auto shipping the billion dollar industry that it is today. With manufacturing plants located on the banks of all three of these mighty waterways and the assembly lines of Detroit sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, the United States has utilized international auto shipping to become a world power in the industry.

Henry Ford was a visionary like few others that come along in a lifetime. His invention of the automobile and the assembly line to make it may have been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th Century. His foresight in placing his factory in Detroit was a stroke of genius. The waterways of the United States interior provided a perfect path for distribution not only in the country but overseas as well. International auto shipping begins in Detroit but uses the Mississippi as an outlet to the rest of the world.

The Ohio River became a piece of the international auto shipping puzzle because of a combination of geographical and economic factors. Geographically, the Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi and can be used as a pathway to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. Economically, the regions that border the river have some of the lowest costs of living in the United States. This made the area particularly attractive to automotive companies who were looking to set up factories where labor was cheap. The United Auto Workers Union, because of contracts that have been in place since the 1930's, have kept labor rates high but many foreign car companies, such as Honda, have now built assembly lines in Ohio. They offer lower wages but better job stability and production bonuses.

The Arkansas River, the third piece in the international auto shipping triumvirate, originates in Colorado and flows through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas into the Mississippi near its mouth at New Orleans. A good portion of the region around the Arkansas River also offers lower costs of living and cheap labor. Wichita, Tulsa and Little Rock are key cities in the supply route for international auto shipping.

These three rivers together are responsible for international auto shipping of thousands of cars a year traveling through the harbor of New Orleans and out into the Gulf of Mexico to the rest of the world. The sea routes through the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean are filled with cargo ships carrying Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers, Jeeps and Hondas that are made in America and delivered to consumers throughout the world. The countries of South America get regular imports daily and the locks of the Panama Canal are often busy channeling through vessels carrying the automobiles manufactured along the rivers of the United States. The waterways that were once explored by brave adventurers and fought over by nations of Europe seeking to colonize America are now the heart and soul of an automotive empire.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
International Shipping
services, and
Auto Shipping
Local as well as International Moving
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