In what has been described as a “can’t miss” event by CEO Rich Cooper of the Ports for Indiana, over 300 executives, exporters, importers and business leaders from Indiana’s rail, ports and shipping industries will convene at the Indiana Convention Center on October 9th and 10th for The 11th Annual Logistics Summit. Governor Mike Pence will deliver the keynote address at the summit, which has been titled “Asia to Indiana Nonstop” in reference to the official opening on October 10th by Governor Pence of a new intermodal rail service that will deliver a direct service to Asia from Indiana.
The new service will be based at Indiana Rail’s terminal on Senate Avenue and will convey goods straight from Indianapolis to Canada, and onwards to West Costs ports to be transported into Asia. The summit will focus on the prospects provided by the system in the form of significant economic growth, increased market access for domestic companies, manufacturers and developers, and improved opportunities for smaller and medium sized firms to export onto the global market. Indiana’s food and agricultural industries are already reaping the benefits, with containerized products including grain, soymeal and corn fructose now able to be exported straight into markets such as China from the Midwest in what Steve Patton of Midwest Commodities calls a “fantastic” growth opportunity for Indianapolis.
Not only will the new service provide a more environmentally-sound and reliable alternative to the overcrowded routes in Chicago and the I-65 to Indiana, but it is also expected to reduce travel times for exports from Indiana by up to a week, giving Indiana exporters, importers, workers and consumers an “exceptional opportunity” to enhance their connections with Asia, said President and CEO of Indiana Rail Road Thomas Hoback.
Indiana Rail Road partnered with Canadian National Railway to build the service, which has been praised by Governor Pence for facilitating greater commerce and trade links between Indiana and Asia. The Governor, who together with local business leaders and officials spent nine days in September visiting Japan, stated that “more and more” Asian companies are now selecting Indiana as their export destination of choice, with the result that Japan has become Indiana’s largest Asian trading partner.