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Maps and Transportation

Greater Des Moines’ (DSM's) central geographic location — plus superb transportation infrastructure — make the region a prime choice for businesses in need of efficient cargo distribution. The region has a strong combination of ground transport, both commercial and freight. Located at the crossroads of Interstates 80 and 35, the area is accessible for many industries and businesses. DSM is one of the few areas in the United States that is served by three Class I railroads. Railroads in the area include Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Iowa Interstate, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.

Download maps of The DSM metro and region:

Metro Map Regional Map

Regional Transportation Planning

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) develops and maintains DSM's long-range transportation plan and provides support to other local governments and organizations with regional transportation plans. To view the most recent regional transportation plans in detail, visit Regional Vision Plans.

Airline Travel and Service

Passenger service in DSM USA

Passenger Service

As Iowa's largest airport, the Des Moines International Airport (DSM) is the 83rd busiest commercial airport in the nation (January 2022). Des Moines International Airport is served by six commercial carriers, and passengers now have non-stop access to 31 destinations. International flights are easily made with one connection in surrounding hub airports.

The Ankeny Regional Airport serves executive and corporate travel, freight operations and general aviation in the region. The passenger terminal provides a comfortable and smooth transition to ground transportation. Reliable flight support services and the safety of two runways make Ankeny Regional a preferred destination for corporate flight departments and private pilots. 

Air cargo in DSM USA

Air Cargo 

Ranked in the Top 50 airports for cargo tonnage in the United States by the Bureau of Transportation, Des Moines International Airport has more than 1 million square feet of cargo aircraft parking area. The airport cargo area also includes more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. Visit the Des Moines International Airport or the DSM USA Research, Stats and Data Hub for current operational statistics.

Foreign Trade Zone

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #107 is conveniently located near Interstates 80 and 35, and the Des Moines International Airport, which is the only Port of Entry in Iowa. The FTZ allows certain types of merchandise to be imported, repackaged and assembled with other components, and then exported without going through formal customs entry procedures or incurring import duties. FTZ #107 can also be leveraged to create subzones, which are special purpose sites for use by one company for a limited purpose and are established as adjuncts to existing general purpose zones. For more information about FTZ and frequently asked questions, visit the Connect Globally page

U.S. Port of Entry at the Des Moines International Airport

The Des Moines International Airport serves as a Port of Entry. As a Port of Entry, DSM International has on-site U.S. Customs and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors. Find more information about Port 3513.

Ground Transport Services

Motor Carriers

Ground transportation is readily available through 427 trucking transportation establishments that serve DSM. Cargo is brought into DSM from eight states throughout the Midwest and Great Plains. Outbound, most of the Midwest is reachable by truck overnight. Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Omaha and St. Louis are all within a day's drive. 

Rail Services

DSM is served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Iowa Interstate, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific railroads. To learn more about Iowa's railways, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation's Office of Rail Transportation website.

A regional railroad transload facility located in Des Moines and independently operated by Des Moines Industrial offers cutting-edge logistics solutions, convenient transloading connections and streamlined distribution that reduces costs and carbon footprint. The transload facility can be accessed by three Class I railroads including Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, as well as Iowa Interstate Railroad short line service. On-site warehouse and outdoor storage are also available at the transload facility.

Regional Resources

The DSM region strategically plans for the future, and several regional plans outline how to prepare for and implement initiatives that will enhance it. Read more here.

The Partnership as 23 Affiliate Chambers. Learn more about the Affiliate Chambers here.

Learn more about the region's population, demographics and cost statistics.

Learn more about recent DSM rankings and awards from national sources.