Caldwell County: Connected to Regional and Global Markets

Caldwell County is an extraordinary gateway to regional and global markets in the nation’s No. 1 state for business, North Carolina. Location and a skilled workforce, combined with greater affordability — including lower real estate costs — make Caldwell County advantageous for any business. Near the midpoint between Boston and Miami, Caldwell County is within a day’s trucking distance of most major markets in the Eastern U.S. and has convenient access to nearby rail, port and air transportation. Here, you have proximity to your supply chain, customers and competition.


Location Advantages


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Midway between Boston and Miami, Caldwell County is within a day’s trucking distance of most major Eastern U.S. markets: a large area can be quickly served. These highways provide vital transportation links for Caldwell County’s flourishing manufacturing, commercial and tourism bases. Four-lane US 321 provides 75-minute access to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

  • Interstate 40 (connecting to I-77, I-85 & I-95)
  • US 321 (4-lane)
  • US 64
  • NC 18
  • Blue Ridge Parkway


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Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is an international air hub, acting as the second-largest hub for American Airlines. Airports Council International ranks CLT No. 5 worldwide for air traffic and No. 6 for passenger traffic, reflecting the airport’s important role in the aviation industry. Rankings were based on 519,895 annual aircraft arrivals and departures and an annual passenger total of 43,302,230.

Two regional airports round out our air transportation assets. Foothills Regional (KMRN) — a full-service fixed base operator (FBO) dedicated to the needs of general aviation pilots, aircraft owners and travelers — is conveniently located with quick driving access to Morganton, Lenoir and Hickory. 

Hickory Regional (KHKY) — owned and operated by the City of Hickory and conveniently located just off U.S. 321 — is the aviation leader in Western North Carolina. It provides the Hickory Metro area with a gateway to the world through a well-maintained runway/taxiway system, a customer-focused terminal building and aircraft services. 

Rail Service

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Rail service is actively used in Caldwell County by our plastics manufacturers and timber sector, as well as others. The railway has stops in Hudson, NC, servicing the southern half of the county with ties into major east west lines. Rail spurs are available. Caldwell County’s railway connects to Norfolk Southern Railroad in Hickory.


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North Carolina Ports have the highest productivity on the East Coast, including container truck gate traffic and crane use. More than four million tons of general cargo is handled annually with convenient access to interstates and rail.

South Carolina Ports move millions of containers and have cruise ship terminals, too. Port of Charleston is now the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.