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Transportation

Greater Des Moines’ (DSM) 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 35 and 80, the area is accessible for many industries and businesses. Des Moines 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 and Southern and Union Pacific.

 

For more information, contact Mike Swesey, Senior Vice President of Economic Development.

Regional Transportation Planning

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

Airline Travel and Service

Passenger Service

As Iowa's largest airport, the Des Moines International Airport (DSM) is the 90th most active commercial airport in the nation. Des Moines is served by six commercial carriers with over 120 domestic flights per day. From Des Moines, passengers now have non-stop access to 19 destinations, and 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 

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 on Iowa Interstate 80/35, about 14 miles from the Des Moines International Airport. The FTZ allows certain types of merchandise to be imported, repackaged and assembled with other components, and then exported without having to go through formal customs entry procedures or incurring import duties. 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. A new customs facility has recently been completed for the convenience of shippers and travelers. For more information about Port 3513, click here.

Ground Transport Services

Motor Carriers

Ground transportation is readily available through 60 motor freight carriers that serve Greater Des Moines. Cargo is brought into Des Moines 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

Des Moines is served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Iowa Interstate, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific railroads. With a full-time switching service and a local piggyback ramp, the area can meet businesses' rail service needs. To learn more about Iowa's railways, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation's Office of Rail Transportation website.

Local Bus Service

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) provides bus service throughout the metro area. Learn more about routes, fares and schedules online.

Over the Road Service

Des Moines is served by Greyhound, Jefferson LinesBurlington Trailways, Windstar and Megabus for travel within the state or throughout the country.