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Our Transportation Assets Keep You Moving

Our Transportation Assets Keep You Moving



Burke County, North Carolina is closer to your entire world than you may imagine. Our communities and the companies that do business here benefit from exceptional connectivity and an impressive array of options for bringing in materials needed for production and distributing finished goods to customers in a cost-effective manner.

Whether your shipping needs involve trucking, railroad, air, or ocean, Burke County’s remarkable connectivity will help you get things where they need to be quicker and more efficiently. That connectivity also makes it easy to attract skilled workers. You’ll find more than 650,000 workers within a 45-minute drive. Those residing within Burke County can rely on the Greenway Public Transportation System, which serves the Morganton, Drexel, Valdese and Rutherford College communities.

Learn more about the options available to your company in each of the categories below.


Burke County companies enjoy easy access to business and consumer markets in all directions, with great connectivity and a central location that puts us within a day’s drive of 160 million consumers. Our highway network begins with two major east-west highways, Interstate 40 and US 70.

Interstate 40’s 14 interchanges within Burke County allow businesses to move materials, products, and talent in and out with ease. As the third-longest interstate in the United States, I-40 places local businesses within a day’s drive of nearly 80 percent of the population east of the Mississippi River. Nearby connections to Interstates 77, 85, 26, 81, and 95 give local businesses fast connections to major markets in every direction. US 70, which bisects Burke County, stretches from eastern North Carolina to east-central Arizona.

Both thoroughfares intersect with US 64, a key north-south route throughout the southeast. Nearby US 321 intersects with both I-40 and US 70 three times, giving businesses plenty of options for getting trucks on and off US 321 and its direct connection to I-85 in Gastonia, NC.


Rail shippers can take advantage of a Norfolk Southern mainline to bring raw materials in and ship finished products out to market efficiently and cost-effectively. Norfolk Southern’s intermodal facility in Charlotte offers options for truck, rail, and air cargo. The mainline also provides direct access to several Atlantic Ocean ports, all within six hours, putting overseas markets in close reach.


Norfolk Southern’s Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility at Charlotte International Airport (CLT), a little over an hour away, is a huge transportation asset for our local businesses. The facility links air, rail, and truck transportation. CLT, with runways up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) long, is also home to the Charlotte Air Cargo Center, served by more than 60 freight forwarders and 15 air cargo carriers. General aviation users will appreciate the convenience of Burke County’s two regional airports.


Norfolk Southern offers direct access to several ports on the Atlantic Ocean, all less than six hours away, putting overseas markets in close reach.


  • 283 miles (455 km) from Burke County, 4:42 drive time
  • 26 miles from the open sea on the Cape Fear River
  • Channel depth is 42 feet at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW)
  • 600,000 TEU capacity container terminal
  • Almost one million sq. ft. of covered and sprinkled storage
  • Nine container cranes


  • 278 miles (447 km) from Burke County, 4:18 drive time
  • Consistently ranked among the world’s most productive ports
  • Five marine terminals, each within two hours sailing time from the open ocean
  • Post-Panamax container cranes
  • 45-foot channels
  • Norfolk Southern on dock
  • Less than 60 minutes to two-way truck turn


  • 353 miles (568 km) from Burke County, 5:33 drive time
  • Only US East Coast port with congressional authorization for 55-foot depth channels
  • 50-foot channels and berths
  • 2.5 hours to open sea
  • 2 Class I railroads operating on-dock
  • 22 Suez-class ship-to-shore cranes port-wide


  • 323 miles (519 km) from Burke County, 5:33 drive time
  • The largest single container terminal in North America
  • Norfolk Southern terminal onsite
  • More than three million square feet of warehouse space available within 30 miles
  • Immediate access to two major Interstates: I-16 (east/west) and I-95 (north/south)
  • 9,700 feet of contiguous berth space


  • 346 miles (556 km) from Burke County, 6-hour drive time
  • Channel depth is 45 feet at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW)
  • Rail service provided by Norfolk Southern Railway
  • More than one million sq. ft. of covered and sprinkled storage

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