Geographic Position

Located at the confluence of the two largest rivers in North America, the Ohio and the Mississippi, Cairo sits atop the geographic center of the USA's major shipping and distribution routes. With abundant access to rail, interstate, and two of the busiest waterways in the nation, the untapped potential of this position could be an invaluable asset for commercial development.

The Mississippi River lies to the west of the city and separates Illinois from Missouri. The river loops around to the south and converges with the Ohio River at Fort Defiance Park, the site of a strategic Civil War fort where troops were trained and supplies were routed to support them. The Ohio River to the east of Cairo separates Illinois from Kentucky.  Cairo is currently home to Alexander County Regional Port District, a state chartered and certified site for the movement and transport of goods through US inland waterways.

In addition to the proximity to rivers that border Illinois, three highways provide easy access to the north, south, east, and west. A class 1 rail line operated by Canadian National comes in from the north and exits east to Kentucky across the Ohio. Cairo Regional Airport lies just outside of town on the north.