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10 Inland Ports to Watch

Located outside crowded port areas, where land is scarce or not available at all, inland ports’ advantages are well documented because of their positive impact on regional industrial development and because they create space for more buildings in proximity to intermodal sites, thus relieving pressure in port areas and on roadways.

Intermodal Sites 2015
Central New York Inland Port, Syracuse, NY — CNYIP is a 115-acre intermodal logistics hub under development. It’s intended to boost Port Authority of New York/New Jersey’s efforts to prepare for the influx of larger vessels coming to the East Coast and for the Panama Canal expansion. The CNYIP shares a property line with the CSX DeWitt Railyard. Truckers using the CNYIP only need to go 750 yards to enter or exit a highway that leads to major east/west and north/south interstate highways. CNYIP is a partnership between Mohawk Global Logistics, Synapse Partners LLC, and Brang Commercial Real Estate Cos. It was formed in 2012 to oversee development of the site.

Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center, Winter Haven, FL — The 318-acre facility opened last year. It’s the result of a strategic collaboration between the City of Winter Haven, numerous state and local partners, and CSX. The intermodal terminal has capacity to process up to 300,000 containers a year and is designed for scalable expansion as freight volumes continue to grow, CSX says. The terminal incorporates advanced environmentally friendly technology, including three high-powered electric cranes, solar panels, and high-mast exterior lighting to maximize energy efficiency. The terminal is surrounded by 930 acres that are being developed in phases to build up to 7.9 million square feet of warehouse distribution centers and light industrial facilities.

INland Logistics Port, Kingsbury, IN — A planned 600-acre intermodal logistics hub, it received CSX’s Select Site designation in 2012, meaning the location meets a rigorous set of criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, air quality permitting, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes. Basically, it’s “shovel ready.” But the site was in limbo much of last year as developers dragged their feet on the facility’s construction, apparently due to funding and legal issues involving the landowners and prospective developers. The project appeared to get back on track late last year when a circuit court judge approved a motion by Halfwassen Group LLC to appoint a receiver to primarily market the site to prospective developers while the equal landowners, LaPorte County and Halfwassen, work out their differences in court. A rail spur, funded by $6 million from La Porte County, was extended to the facility, thus enabling CSX trains to reach it. This is a facility to watch in 2015.

Cordele Inland Port, GA — This is a rail-centric terminal that sends and receives containerized freight to and from the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) in Savannah, GA. The inland port, through Cordele Intermodal Services (CIS), offers a 200-mile rail route to the GPA’s Garden City Terminal. The port provides the option to use an all-truck-dray to the Port of Savannah for the CIS target market of southwest Georgia, southern Alabama, and western Florida. Construction has started on a double track rail spur that will connect CSX and Georgia shortline railroads through the facility. Cordele Inland Port is located less than one mile from I-75 and Georgia highways 300 and 280. CIS offers overnight rail service to the Georgia Ports Authority three times a week via the shortline railroads, Heart of Georgia and Georgia Central. In addition to the rail service, CIS owns a private fleet of tractors and chassis that pick up and deliver containerized freight to and from the Cordele rail ramp. CIS also offers over-the-road trucking, warehousing, and transloading.

Rickenbacker Inland Port, Columbus, OH — This port is serviced by Norfolk Southern and CSX. The majority of rail freight traveling to Columbus is international and has reached the Ohio Valley via the East and West Coast ocean ports. The Norfolk Southern Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal, which covers 175 acres and can handle more than 400,000 containers annually, is located in the heart of the facility. The land development within the Inland Port has the capacity to grow to 70 million square feet of industrial space.

CSX Northwest Ohio ICTF — This $175 million, 500-acre terminal located in N. Baltimore, Ohio, serves domestic and international intermodal freight. The following products are available at this location: UMAX, private containers, and door-to-door. The intermodal rail project offers a more efficient link for East Coast ports to growing markets in the Midwest. The Northwest Ohio terminal is designed to improve the flow of freight, create hundreds of jobs, and support distribution facilities in the region, according to CSX. CSX reports that the terminal will handle 25 trains per day and move more than 630,000 containers and trailers per year. The intermodal terminal will handle containers coming from ports on the East Coast, such as Baltimore, that are shipped west across Pennsylvania and Ohio on CSX trains.

Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility, NC — The $90 million facility opened in December 2013. Norfolk Southern operates the intermodal facility on the 170-acre site between two runways at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Norfolk Southern invested $74 million in the terminal, and the state and federal government contributed $16 million. The yard has a current capacity of 140,000 containers a year, expandable to 200,000. More than 15 million square feet are available for development.

Midwest Inland Port, Decatur, IL — This multimodal hub delivers domestic and international flexibility for companies by connecting the Midwest to the East, West, and Gulf Coasts of North America. It has an intermodal ramp accessed by three Class I railroads: Canadian National, CSX, and Norfolk Southern, and has access to five major roadways: interstates 72, 55, 74, 57, and U.S. Highway 51.

BNSF Intermodal and Logistics Park KC, KS — The Kansas facility is on the transcontinental line between Chicago and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Its annual capacity of 500,000 container lifts could triple to 1.5 million upon full buildout, and is expected to attract 100 million square feet of new industrial development within a 350-mile radius.

Port of Oakland Logistics Hub, CA — Work began in late January on a rail link that will connect a 360-acre logistics hub under construction at a former Army base at the port with Union Pacific’s main line. This $1 billion hub is somewhat unique in that the Army base, which has been closed for more than a decade, is located on prime port property adjacent to the port’s Outer Harbor container terminals. The plan is to develop the site for transloading and distribution activities for imports and exports. Eventually as much as two million square feet of logistics space could be developed. Port executives say the UP rail link is crucial to the success of the venture.

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