To build on the growing logistics industry in Indiana and create more jobs, there must be more investment in an educated workforce and more money spent on infrastructure for trucking, air and water transport. Those are two of the recommendations in a broadly worded, 130-page plan released to promote a vision for Indiana's future as a shipping, distribution and logistic hub.
The report from Conexus Indiana, a statewide initiative, is the two-year work of 36 executives of companies with a stake in logistics. It lays out a plan for guiding the state to build the infrastructure and enact laws, public policy and workforce development to make Indiana a destination for logistics businesses and the jobs they create.
"If the strategies, goals and tactics envisioned in this plan are implemented by the public and private sector, we believe that Indiana will leverage its position as the 'Crossroads of America,' and become a logistics magnet as the 'logistics destination of America,'" said J. Mark Howell, president of Brightpoint America. He also is chair of the Logistics Council Executive Committee that released the report with its 30-page executive summary.
The plan calls for a series of board goals:
• Create two or three large intermodal and multimodal logistics centers. In the Indianapolis metro region, there has been an attempt for several years to expand the train and truck facilities of the CSX Big Four Yards in Avon that uses only a fraction of its intermodal capacity.
• Support the redesign and construction of key locks and dams to carry barge traffic on the Ohio River, linking to the Mississippi River and to the Gulf of Mexico.
• Create a plan to attract more air freight businesses to Indiana. The Federal Express freight hub at Indianapolis International Airport is the second largest in the FedEx system in the world.
• Support key road and bridge projects to relieve traffic bottlenecks, including new sections of Interstate highway.
• Encourage a plan to build an interstate highway to the southwest corner of the state.
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