Iowa Coverage Area
If you need transportation and logistics services for freight moving into or out of Iowa, ArcBest® can help. Contact us at 800-610-5544 to learn about our comprehensive supply chain solutions and for information on booking a shipment.
- Population — 3.1 million as of 2016
- Sales tax rate — 6 percent
- Unemployment rate — 3.0 percent in 2017
- Income tax rate — Up to 8.98 percent, based on filing status
Economy at a Glance
Iowans enjoy a healthy economy and abundant business opportunities in a variety of industry segments. While long considered an agriculture-based economy, the state has built off of its strong agriculture base to create a varied business environment. Major industries include:
Manufacturing is Iowa’s largest economic sector, with more than 6,000 manufacturers operating in the state. The industry supports more than 200,000 jobs and generates more than one-sixth of Iowa’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Food processing is the largest component of the state’s manufacturing output. Metal processing, the production of commercial and industrial motor vehicle parts, and the manufacturing of chemical products and computer and electronic parts also provide significant revenue.
Insurance and Financial Services
The state capital of Des Moines, and its surrounding metropolitan area, is a major insurance and financial services area with the highest concentration of employment in that sector than in any other part in the country. The region is home to 81 insurance and financial planning company headquarters, and 16 percent of the region’s workforce is employed in the industry.
Agriculture is important to Iowa’s economy and is part of the state’s culture. Several major agriculture product processors have operations in the state, and the industry supports one-third of employment opportunities. Iowa is the country’s largest producer of ethanol, but corn, pork and pork products, soybeans and eggs are also sources of revenue. Agricultural products from Iowa had a value of $30 billion in 2012, and the industry accounts for nearly 9 percent of the GDP.
Bioscience and Research
Benefitting from the state’s agricultural success, the bioscience and research industry has taken off to become one of Iowa’s fastest growing economic sectors. More than 500 bioscience research firms have facilities in the state, supporting an estimated one-eighth of the country’s agriculture feedstock and chemical manufacturing workforce.
Shipping Options in Iowa
Shippers utilize the state’s 112,904 miles of roadway, four primary interstate highways, several major airports, and large waterway and railroad systems to move freight around the state. Iowa’s transportation system supports the movement of regional, national and international freight and is a vital part of the state’s success and economic stability.
Trucks traveling through Iowa can reach 83 million people within a day’s drive and more than 250 million people in two days. Iowa’s roadway system provides businesses a gateway to major markets including Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City.
Iowa has more than 100 public use airports, including eight commercial service airports and two international airports — the Des Moines International Airport and the Quad City International Airport. The state’s airports support 2 ½ million passengers a year and transport nearly 175 million pounds of cargo, according to research from the Iowa Area Development Group.
Rail and Water
Iowa’s rail network is extensive, and its five Class I railroads operate on 3,825 miles of track. It’s estimated the rail system accommodates nearly 44 million tons of freight traffic every year. The state also borders the Mississippi River, the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River, and the state’s waterway system plays a crucial role in moving bulk commodities into and out of the state. There are three deep water ports in Iowa — the ports of Burlington, Dubuque and Keokuk — and together they support more than 12 million tons of freight each year.