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Member Spotlight: Port KC's Missouri River Terminal

Wednesday, March 03, 2021 4:32 PM | Deleted user

Multimodal Infrastructure Opportunity: Missouri River Terminal

Project Overview

Port KC plans to pursue the development of MRT as an advanced state-of-the-art intermodal development which will enhance the region’s rail, water and highway trade platform.

—Port KC is in the advanced planning stages for the MRT after purchasing the 415-acre site in 2018 from AK Steel Corporation.

—To enable development of the MRT, Port KC is looking to engage with partners through long-term master development agreement(s) to finance, construct and develop the capital investment, future operational management and maintenance of the Project.

—In October 2020, USDOT awarded Port KC a Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) Grant for $9.88 million to accelerate the planning and early works construction activities required to advance the MRT’s progress to full site construction quickly after environmental approvals are received.

Opportunity Overview

The Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (“Port KC”) is seeking a partner(s) for the development of a large-scale intermodal facility along the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri. The Missouri River Terminal (the “MRT” or “Project”) will offer new access points and significant market reach which will expand Kansas City’s capacity for efficient management of intermodal containers into and out of the local and regional freight markets in Missouri, Kansas and beyond.

The MRT will expand beyond Port KC's current bulk and breakbulk facilities to establish and construct:

  • New river terminals leveraging existing dock infrastructure to accept vessels with container vessels, container on barge, and storage services;
  • Creation of new short line railroad with over five miles of new track to serve containerized cargo that can be switched to five Class 1 railroads or truckload transfer;
  • Direct access to Interstate 435 and the Kansas City interstate highway system;
  • Warehousing and office buildings; and
  • Industrial activities and production zoning.

Investment Highlights

Well positioned for multiple transportation modes

Kansas City’s vast transportation network includes:

  • Four interstate highways;
  • Missouri River Marine Highway;
  • Rail connections through five Class I railroads; and
  • Unique central national freight lanes serving Kansas City’s North-South and East-West trade access points.


―Since reopening barge traffic in 2015, Port KC has seen nearly 51% annual growth in total tonnage.

―Intermodal container volumes are expected to grow at approximately 3.9% annually over the next 20 years, doubling the need for TEU container capacity in the Kansas City region.

―Kansas City is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. freight market, resulting in significant demand to increase freight capacity for all modes of transportation including container, intermodal and transload activity.

Project development and approvals

Port KC has been awarded a PIDP grant of approximately $10 million.

Port KC has purchased the 415-acre MRT site and is the process of conducting environmental mitigation on the site.

Port KC is in the process of applying to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to become its own Class III railroad and will be point agency for environmental approvals of the site.

Superior location

―Property is approximately 415 acres that is bound by road rail and water access

―With close proximity to the Missouri River on the North, Interstate 435 to the West and rail access from the Kansas City Terminal Railroad to the South, the MRT has potential to be a major multimodal freight transfer facility.

Process and Timeline

PortKC is contemplating a variety of public private partnership(P3) models to finance, develop, manage, and operate the Project. Once a preferred approach(es) are identified, the Port is anticipating to commence the process to identify potential partners through procurement in calendar year 2021.

Some key anticipated dates include (subject to change):


Ted Hamer, Managing Director

Justin Clarke, Director

Thanks to Joe Lohman and Richard Grenville for sharing this exciting news!

© 2021 International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City

ITCGKC is a 501(c)3 Organization

The International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City is a network of international business professionals, educators, and students that actively work with each other and the community to build a stronger support system for international trade in the Kansas City region.

PO Box 12340
Kansas City, MO 64116


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