King chooses “Minneapolis and Chicago history” for $1000, Alex

Alex Robertson

By Alex Robertson Business Development at King Solutions

oh fer cute meet o'hare

Have you heard the news? King Solutions has opened a new facility in Chicago! To celebrate our company linking these two great cities, we are diving into a bit of the history, founding, and logistics facts about Minneapolis and Chicago.

Minneapolis: the literally-named city
What’s in a name? For Minneapolis, it’s quite literal. The name, “Minneapolis” is attributed to Charles Hoag, the first schoolmaster of Minneapolis. It is said that he combined the Dakota Sioux word for water (mni) with the Greek word for city, polis. Since Minneapolis is home to 13 lakes and rests on the Mississippi river, the name is quite fitting, indeed.

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the 45th-largest in the U.S. It is the 2nd-largest economic center in the Midwest behind Chicago (it recently passed Detroit a few years ago).

Quick facts about the City of Lakes

Incorporated: 1847

Estimated Population: 422,331

Founded by: John H. Stevens (who ran a ferry service across the Mississippi river and attained the rank of Colonel in the U.S. army) and Franklin Steele (a well know settler, business owner and investor who once owned Fort Snelling).

How was Minneapolis founded?
The land on which Minneapolis sits was originally inhabited by the Native American Dakota Sioux, who traded furs with the French explorers that arrived in the 1680s. Eventually, in the early 19th century, the United States acquired the territory from France and established outposts — the famous Fort Snelling was built in 1819. The city was established in 1867, which was the same year that a rail line was established between Chicago and Minneapolis.

Minneapolis soon became the world’s flour milling capital as well as a hub for timber, and its proximity to the Mississippi made shipping and logistics easy for manufacturers and businesses. Rail lines also became a major source of shipping and transportation to and from the city. By 1867, the city had rail service to Milwaukee, WI and Faribault, Owatonna and Austin, MN.

Proximately located to both water and rail shipping? What’s not to like about this Midwestern shipping hub?

Flash forward to modern times
Although the flour milling business waned over the years, Minneapolis is now home to 17 total Fortune 500 company headquarters. The City has also become a cultural center for theater and the performing arts. The city is still home to many theaters and is second only to New York in the number of live theaters per capita. It is currently the third-largest theater market in the U.S., trailing only New York and Chicago.

Today, the Minneapolis area continues to be an integral part of the nation’s supply chain. 16 interregional corridors, including 10 U.S. routes and six MN Highways run throughout the state. Interregional corridors account for one third of all vehicle miles traveled. Major freight rail lines, including BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian National Railway, and Canadian Pacific Railway and its Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad subsidiary, also run throughout the state. Located south of Duluth, Minneapolis has close access to the city’s ports on Lake Superior, making Minneapolis a viable option for shipping via road, rail and water.

Chicago: the “Smelly City?”
Chicago, the largest city in Illinois and the 3rd-largest city in the U.S., has long been known as the Windy City, but the name “Chicago” is derived from an indigenous Miami-Illinois word “shikaakwa,” which has been translated as “smelly onion.” The word shikaakwa refers to a relative of the onion that was plentiful in the area at the time of its settlement.* It’s not the most spectacular way for a city to earn its name, but it’s history nonetheless! An earlier derivation of the name is also noted as “Chicagou.”

*Shikaakwa is also a planet in the expanded Star Wars universe, in case you plan on visiting the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago next year.

Quick facts about the Windy City

Incorporated: 1837

Estimated Population: 2,716,450

Founded by: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (a notable trader who played a large role in developing the original Chicago River settlement).

How was Chicago founded?
The land that makes up the city of Chicago was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Native American tribe. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable and other settlers began to arrive in the 1780s. After the Northwest Indian War, part of the land was turned over to the U.S. and by 1803, Fort Dearborn was built. The city was officially founded in 1837 and took off as the manufacturing, retail and finance sectors exploded. The Chicago Board of Trade would eventually become the first ever “standardized exchange-traded futures contracts.”

Rapid population growth followed until 1871, when the Great Chicago Fire destroyed about 4 miles of the city. It was eventually rebuilt, giving the city another one of its many monikers, “the Second City.”

Flash forward to modern times
Chicago is still a major hub for business and culture. It is home to a total of 31 Fortune 500 companies, the most comedy clubs per square mile (including the renowned Second City), 400 neighborhood festivals and so much more.

From a logistics standpoint, Chicago has long been a major connector of the coasts. By the 1930s, Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck made the city “the nation’s mail-order capital.” The Old Chicago Main Post Office, a massive, nine-story-tall facility was long known as a major hub of mail moving across the country, and many pieces originated from the retail giants located there. In 1966, the Main Chicago Post Office famously came to a screeching halt after 10 million pieces of mail overloaded workers and held up shipments for almost a week.

King expands to Chicago!
Today, Chicago remains a major stop for freight running to and from both coasts, which makes it the perfect place for an additional King facility! So now, everything from fulfillment and freight forwarding to USPS destination entry services can be handled out of Chicago, too! Contact King to talk about how we can design a custom logistics plan that works for your business.