One Southern Indiana Partners with Conexus Indiana to Launch Southeast Regional Logistics Council

Doug Prather of Ranger Enterprises named chairman

(New Albany, Ind. – Oct. 15, 2013) One Southern Indiana announced today that it has partnered with Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, to form the Southeast Regional Logistics Council (SERLC), an industry-led initiative to identify and advance local infrastructure projects, public policies and workforce development needs to strengthen the region’s logistics sector.

SERLC comprises more than 15 advanced manufacturing and logistics industry representatives from Southeast Indiana and Louisville. Doug Prather, president of the Seymour, Indiana-based logistics company Ranger Enterprises, will serve as chairman of the regional logistics council.

The council will address priority infrastructure  projects, public policy and workforce development issues that impact a 15-county region that includes Bartholomew, Clark, Dearborn, Decatur, Floyd, Franklin, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, Switzerland and Washington counties. SERLC will develop a strategic plan to strengthen the movement of manufactured products through the region, the state and the world. In addition to serving as a guide for local projects, components of the plan will be integrated into the statewide logistics plan spearheaded by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC).

Southeast Indiana benefits from both Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio transportation and logistics amenities, including four major interstates (I-65, I-74, I-64, I-71), a major United Parcel Services (UPS) hub in Louisville, a DHL hub in Cincinnati, and the Ohio River, the major freight waterway served by the Port of Indiana in Jeffersonville. Additional transportation infrastructure benefits include rail providers CSXNorfolk Southern and Louisville Indiana Railroad, which serve as connectors to Illinois Central, Paducah Louisville, Indiana Rail Road and CP Rail System/Soo Line. 

The logistics industry in Southeast Indiana employs approximately 13,700 people, who earn on average more than $50,000 annually.

“Southeast Indiana has major logistics infrastructure assets with the benefit of proximity to large cities in Ohio and Kentucky, and our goal is to protect and grow those assets in order to continue to grow our logistics industry and our position as the ‘Crossroads of America,’” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development for Conexus Indiana. “For the last three years, the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council has studied the key issues facing the industry and has recommended improvements including  investing in our highways, optimizing our airport network, maintaining our locks and dams, all while reducing the tax and regulatory barriers to logistics companies.”

Several projects have been identified at the state level by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council that need to be completed, including:

  • The Ohio River Bridges project;
  • The construction and redesign  to the Olmsted Locks, the locks that feed from the Ohio River to the Mississippi, a significant infrastructure improvement that impacts the movement of waterborne freight through Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio;
  • Expansion of Interstate 65 to three lanes; and
  • A freeway-like connection from Madison, Indiana, to Interstate 65.

“1si is thrilled to partner with Conexus Indiana to give our businesses a voice in the statewide logistics plans as they relate to the needs of Southeast Indiana,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of One Southern Indiana. 

Conexus Indiana Logistics Council, working with One Southern Indiana, convened an exploratory meeting to form SERLC on July 12, 2013, and held their first official meeting on Sept. 17, 2013. Firms represented at those meetings include American Commercial Lines, Batesville Casket Company, Celtic Logistics, Consolidated Grain & Barge, Eagle Steel Products, Force Construction Co., Grammer Industries, Huff Contractors, KM Stemler Co., Koetter Construction, Northern Continental Logistics, Packaging & Logistics Solutions, Ranger Enterprises, Summitt Trucking, Tanco Clark Maritime, Louisville International Airport, and Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville.

Additional meetings and forums will be held throughout 2013 and early 2014, resulting in the development of a regional logistics strategic plan.

 

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus 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 One Southern Indiana:

One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 as the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization serving Clark and Floyd Counties.   1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the Southern Indiana/Louisville metro area. 

Since its inception, the organization has evolved to include a three-prong approach to serve its members and investors.  Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce.  http://www.1si.org.