Conexus Indiana Announces Results of Strategic Initiatives

(Indianapolis, Ind., June 17, 2014) The Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC), a group of statewide logistics executives, today released Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future, its second statewide logistics strategic plan in the last four years that will serve as the blueprint to strengthen Indiana’s “Crossroads of America” position as a logistics industry leader.

The plan identifies long-term innovations, such as positioning Indiana at the forefront of automated vehicle technology, and focuses on strengthening academic and industry partnerships to develop skilled talent to fill logistics positions throughout the state. The plan also identifies Federal and State financing recommendations for all four modes of transportation (rail, roadway, air and waterborne) that, if implemented, will help sustain Indiana’s logistics advantages, and details more than a dozen public policy, infrastructure and workforce development accomplishments achieved since 2010 when Phase I: A Plan for Indiana’s Logistics Future, its first statewide logistics strategic plan, was released.

Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future is the result of intensive work by CILC, a group of 54 logistics leaders from around the state, representing air, rail, truck, waterborne, infrastructure, warehousing and distribution, advanced manufacturing and service companies.

“Many crucial issues identified in the 2010 strategic plan have been successfully completed or are well underway as a result of strong collaborative partnerships that were formed between the public and private sector, especially with government and key strategic logistics entities,” said Chip E. Edgington, executive vice president of operations for OSP Group, Conexus Indiana Board member and chairman of CILC. “This group of visionary leaders continues its mission to support and implement  projects  identified as critical to the future success and growth of Indiana as the ‘Crossroads of America’ with an eye toward cutting-edge innovations that will drive the logistics industry forward.”

 

Key logistics infrastructure, public policy and workforce development successes achieved since 2010 include:

·         Intermodal rail expansion of the Senate Avenue Rail Yard in Indianapolis, allowing cargo to flow between Indianapolis and Asia, bypassing Chicago, lowering the arrival time of intermodal boxes in as little as 18-20 days;

·         Completion of the Hoosier Heartland Highway between Lafayette and Fort Wayne connecting I-65 and I-69, creating a free flow of traffic that can now travel from Toledo, Ohio, to Lafayette, Ind.;

·         Development of a partnership between Indiana and Kentucky to advance the Ohio River Bridges project linking Jeffersonville, Ind., to Louisville, Ky., ending the congestion at Spaghetti Junction, one of the largest traffic bottlenecks in the U.S.;

·         Restoration of legislative authority for public/private partnerships allowing Indiana to continue innovative financing to ensure the completion of vital infrastructure projects;

·         Initiation of a new tax credit for private sector infrastructure and logistics investment that will help build needed logistics and transportation assets; and

·         Roll-out of a two-year postsecondary logistics program at Harrison College and Vincennes University for a portable logistics credential helping to build the logistics worker pipeline for the future.

“These core achievements strengthen Indiana’s logistics industry, and by extension, the state’s economy,” said David Holt, vice president, operations and business development of Conexus Indiana. “Approval of a biennial state budget providing more than $200 million in new road funding is testament to the commitment of all parties – industry and government – to maintain and advance our logistics leadership position.”

Since the publication of the 2010 plan, CILC has grown from its original 36 members to 54 members and has added more than 200 new regional leaders to six local logistics councils around Indiana to examine the state of logistics on a regional level.

At the same time, much of the Council’s work has been used by Governor Mike Pence’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Transportation Infrastructure, co-chaired by Cathy Langham, president of Langham Logistics, a Conexus Indiana Board member and CILC vice chair. Along with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Langham and a panel of industry, education and association representatives have identified and prioritized key projects, policies, and financing recommendations that will be given to Governor Pence sometime in the near future. These recommendations, if acted upon, could help maintain and grow Indiana’s reputation as a logistics leader.

“The momentum realized from recommendations in the 2010 document warrants optimism for the potential impact of Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future,” Edgington said. “Like its precursor, Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future is bold and visionary, providing a comprehensive approach to strengthening today’s logistics assets.”

Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future focuses on areas critical to Indiana’s logistics strength – infrastructure, public policy, public awareness, and workforce development with detailed recommendations.

Among the recommendations, the new plan calls for an end to the diversions of funds from Federal and State highway fuel and sales taxes to purposes other than highways and bridges, and calls for funds specifically designed for airport and waterway infrastructure to be used for those purposes.

In workforce development, Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future builds on established educational initiatives, such as Hire Technology and Dream It Do It Indiana, and focuses on programs that will stem logistics shortages for boat captains, air cargo pilots, truck drivers, warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians, and 4-year degreed supervisors.

Cutting-edge logistics technologies are addressed in the new plan as well, with recommendations for innovations in automated vehicles for all modes of transportation, including airplanes, trucks, trains and ships/barges and related information systems that will create efficiencies in the movement of cargo in the future. Other projects include the design of truck lanes to accommodate future technological innovations and uses allowing the separation of cars and trucks that will decrease bottlenecks between freight and passenger traffic, and the study of a high-speed freight rail network.

For more details about the strategic plan, you can download a copy of Delivering Indiana’s Logistics Future at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.