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Ohio: A Transportation Mecca for Global Companies

Ohio could become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest

Ted Griffith, JobsOhio managing director for logistics and distribution and information technologyFri Jul 01 2016

Columbus, Ohio, may soon be considered the Silicon Valley for transportation. That does not come as a surprise as Ohio continues to establish the relationships, infrastructure and business environment companies need to move and grow.

In June, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Columbus as the winner of the unprecedented Smart City Challenge. Columbus competed with six other U.S. cities for the $40 million in grant money and proposed innovative ideas on how the city would reshape its transportation systems, specifically, reimagining the way people and goods move. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox, “Columbus shone above the rest by putting people first and exploring new ways to use technology to reach beyond the tech savvy.”

As winner of the $40 million Smart City Challenge grant, Columbus will receive an additional $10 million from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to supplement the $90 million that the city has already raised from other private partners to carry out its plan. Using these resources, Columbus will work to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move.

Access Unparalleled Assets

When it comes to Logistics and Distribution, Ohio offers unprecedented infrastructure capabilities distributed across the state, allowing businesses that require global trade capabilities to simplify the movement of goods in, around, and out of the country. With the Port of Cleveland, Ohio is the only Midwest state with direct shipping to Europe, helping companies reduce time to market by five days or more.

CEOs benefit from access to skilled talent and low fuel costs within a competitive tax environment. These are some of the unparalleled assets that influenced companies such as Amazon and Barclaycard US expand in the state. In Ohio, companies engaged in various aspects of Logistics and Distribution benefit from easy access to:

  • Air. Ohio offers four dedicated air cargo terminals located strategically throughout the state as well as seven commercial air carriers to transport goods.
  • Rail. The state has 10 major rail yards and 10 intermodal terminals.
  • Road. Ohio is a strong leader in trucking, ranking first in the Midwest and third in the U.S. for value shipped via truck.
  • Water. Companies in Ohio have access to the two largest inland water ports in the U.S., the Port of Huntington Tri-State and the Port of Greater Cincinnati, as well as direct access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio River.
  • Trade zones. With nine, Ohio boasts the largest presence of foreign trade zones in the Midwest, generating the largest volume of trade exports and the second largest number of trade receipts.


Freight forecasters are predicting dramatic growth in freight volumes, which will be a large topic of conversation at the 2016 Ohio Conference on Freight, titled “Steering Supply Chain Innovation in a Global Marketplace.”

From August 22 through 24, those who produce and move goods will come together in Cleveland with those who plan, build and maintain freight infrastructure. The goal? To explore supply chain and logistics best practices while strengthening public-private relationships needed to maintain an efficient transportation network.

JobsOhio is an organizing partner for the 2016 Ohio Conference on Freight. The conference attracts more than 250 public and private decision-makers each year from numerous states and Canadian provinces. Make plans to attend this important conference by registering today.

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