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Indiana’s for Logistics Industry

Indiana’s for Logistics Industry

For the past seven years, the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC), a planning group and advocate for the logistics industry, has been working to improve the infrastructure behind its logistics industry. Recently, they just announced a $4 billion dollar plan for Northeast Indiana, but the basis of the plan goes back to 2008 when CILC laid out Phase I: A Plan for Indiana’s Logistics Future, a list of short-term strategies and plans for the state.

The group traveled across the state and met with elected officials, groups for economic development and logistic company’s executives. Many of the idea with the Plan were implemented and are still being used today by trade associations and developmental agencies and others, such as the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the Ports of Indiana.

The second plan, Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future, was launched in 2010 and continued until 2014. This plan set up long-term policies and upcoming innovations needs, and lined out financing options for support the first plan’s proposals.

The Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that in 2013, the warehousing and transportation industries supported at least 13,535 people in Northeast Indiana alone. Now the CILC has proposed a $4 billion plan to further improve the logistics industry in this area. Other areas that also have plans in place include North central and Southwest Indiana with plans for the Northeast, Central and Southeast coming this fall.

While $4 billion is a huge amount of money, effort leaders stressed that there are many projects that can wait years to be implemented, while others that take effect now can help to improve efficiency right now. The plan includes a great number of improvements to roads and highways, and some to airports and rail. Some of the larger projects include:

– Expanding Interstate 469 near Roanoke to link with Interestate 69 south of Auburn. The estimated cost is $736 million.

– Altering U.S. 33 into a four lane divided highway with controlled access, from the border of Ohio to Elkhart. This project would need the greatest chunk of the estimated cost at $1.55 billion.

– Converting U.S. 30 to four lanes as well. The cost would be about $933.5 million.

Plans for all regions of Indiana include projects under the heading of Infrastructure, Public Policy, Public Awareness and Workforce Development, which cites training for vocational jobs, such as logistics, truck driving and cargo aircraft pilots. “We’re going to drive it through to make sure it happens,” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development for CILC.

Goals for each of the Infrastructure plans include: Lessening congestion and making needed repairs and roads as well as lowering emissions, creating better connectivity between highways within the states and the links between water ports, making contingency plans for unexpected needs, and building transportation networks with direct access and expansion to rail, truck and air cargo facilities.

The two Public plans include making sure government agencies do not heavily regulate the logistics industry and ensuring funding for future projects. Also, it would seek to help the public understand the logistic sector and be aware of its needs. The Workforce goals include plans to implement education programs to increase the skills of workforce members and plan for worker growth up the job ladder.

“We’ve got to move projects in the region to move products to market,” said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Sampson commented that there have already been a substantial number of logistic businesses that have moved into the area because the market enjoys that smaller city roads that stay mostly un-congested, unlike those in Chicago or Indianapolis. Sampson believes that developing these highways and streets even more would further the growth.

Detailed plans for all areas of Indiana can be found here: www.conexusindiana.com/logistics-strategic-plan.

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