Cates Landing

When it comes to transporting agricultural products, completion of the Port of Cates Landing has been highly anticipated for some time.

The spring 2013 opening of the port brings a new dimension to the area where it’s located in northwest Tennessee, especially from an agribusiness standpoint.

“We think it will be a tremendous boost in agriculture,” says Ed Harlan, director of agriculture and forestry development for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “This is great potential for (the shipment of) grain, fertilizer and possibly value-added agriculture products.”

Located on the Mississippi River near Tiptonville in Lake County, the Port of Cates Landing is close to Interstates 55, 155, 40, 24 and 69, as well as major air and rail freight centers of Memphis and the Canadian National Railway line. Its intermodal port dock will serve barge, rail and truck traffic.

The port, which has taken nearly seven years to complete, is built on the only developable site on the Mississippi River above the 100-year flood plain between Memphis and Cairo, Ill. It sits on 150 acres, with 350 adjacent acres in the Lake County Industrial Park.

Not only will the port make for easier shipping of agricultural and other goods, but it is also expected to help with a struggling economy in recent years for Lake, Dyer and Obion counties. At least one study projected the port could create as many as 5,600 new jobs in West Tennessee.

“(The addition of jobs) is a very, very important piece to the puzzle,” Harlan says. “Lake County has historically had pretty tough employment numbers.”

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Marcia Mills would concur. Currently executive director of the Reelfoot Chamber of Commerce, Mills has been involved with Cates Landing since the project began.

“The port and the industry (expected to follow) will be the foundation of this area,” says Mills, who served as secretary of the Lake County industrial board during the project’s beginnings.

“We’ve waited so long for this,” she adds. “We’re almost from the brink of desperation to something wonderful, depending on what locates here. It’s already made an impact on a lot of the local businesses.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Very nice article, we are proud of you and the work you accomplished, maybe the economy will turn around and Lake Co will bloom. Best REgards Norman Rhodes

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