Sanford, North Carolina

A Well-Connected Distribution Hub

Sanford’s central location quickly connects your growing operation with the rest of the state, reaching a range of markets, populations, and domestic and global transportation routes. Whether by highway, rail or air, Sanford is your strategic launchpad to success.

Fast Facts

Access to Major Highways

Several highways, including U.S. 1, I-40 and I-95, are easily accessed from Sanford.

Source: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Aerial of highway. Credit: Lee County Government

Fast Facts

3 Freight Rail Carriers

transport through Lee County on the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation Routes, as well as various shortlines.

Source: NC Railroad Company

Fast Facts

40 Minutes to Fly

Sanford is under an hour from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.


Inside the Raleigh Execs Airport's lobby. Credit: Ahmod Goins


With multi-directional 4-lane highway access, Sanford is truly a transportation hub. The north-south U.S. Highway 1 extends market reach from Key West, FL to the Maine-Canada border, while the U.S. Highway 421/future I-685 seamlessly enhances delivery east to the Atlantic and west to the Great Lakes. State Highway 87 efficiently flows to Greensboro and Fayetteville, supplemented by multiple interstate routes like I-40, I-85, and I-95.

Highway sign that reads 'welcome to Lee county.' Credit: Ahmod Goins

Air & Rails

Corporate air travel is easy in Sanford thanks to the Raleigh-Exec Jetport at Sanford-Lee, offering a 6,500 by 100-foot runway with pavement strength to accommodate up to 100,000 pounds. Only 40 minutes away, the Raleigh-Durham International Airport runs direct flights to 38 domestic and international cities on 352 daily flights. Meanwhile, the nearby Fayetteville Regional Airport offers express service via Delta, U.S. Airways and United Airlines to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. Sanford’s proximity to rail options are extensive, including shortline service by Atlantic and Western. Additionally:

  • CSX: With blanket Class I service all across the Eastern U.S., CSX extends reach from the southern tip of Florida to the edge of Canada.
  • Norfolk Southern Railway: This Class I carrier extends routes across the Eastern U.S. into the Midwest and south to Texas markets.
  • G&W Atlantic & Western Railway (ATW): ATW is an 11-mile railroad that interchanges with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway.
Copper statue of conductor outside of an old locomotive car. Credit: Ahmod Goins


Three deep-water ports within 300 miles offer flexibility and ease of access to global markets.

  • Port of Morehead City: One of the deepest water ports on the Eastern Seaboard is just three hours away by highway or Norfolk Southern Class I rail. A national leader in import and export, Port of Morehead City offers rapid bulk and break-bulk service in a location only four miles from the Atlantic.
  • Port of Wilmington: Just over two hours away by highway or CSX Class I rail, this post-Panamax port offers container, bulk and break-bulk services as one of the only ports in the South Atlantic to provide storage areas for both containers and cargo.
  • Norfolk International Terminals, Port of Virginia: Less than three and a half hours from Sanford, Norfolk Terminals comprise Port of Virginia’s largest facility, offering container, break-bulk and ro-ro (roll on/roll off) services. With 50’ dredging and 14 Super post-Panamax quay cranes, Norfolk is a premier post-Panamax shipping option.
Aerial view of shipping port. Credit: Pexels

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