CN, one of the nation’s largest railroads and one of three providing rail service to Decatur businesses, has joined the group to provide strategic and marketing support to the development of the Midwest Inland Port.
Ryan McCrady, President of the Economic Development Corporation said: “Today marks another exciting and significant step forward for the Midwest Inland Port and for all of Central Illinois. The organisations that comprise the Strategic Development Coalition represent a combination of global, national, regional and local perspectives and capabilities that are critical to our ability to realise the full potential of the Midwest Inland Port development.”
CN is the only transcontinental railroad in North America with a network spanning Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans, and through Illinois and Mid-America to the Gulf Coast. Beyond the rail service connections to Decatur that CN’s network provides, the company brings the coalition its domestic and international marketing reach – including its overseas markets such as China – and import customs expertise.
“We are pleased to join this important coalition and to work with the partners to bolster the supply chain in Decatur and Illinois,” said John Orr, CN’s Senior Vice President, Southern Region. “CN is a true supply chain enabler built on a strong foundation of operational and service excellence with an end-to-end supply chain approach. We are focused on providing transportation solutions that help to make our customers more competitive in their own markets domestically and around the world.”
Larry Altenbaumer, Executive Director of the Midwest Inland Port, noted: “We have been working closely with CN for the past year to extend our marketing reach through their international offices and to significantly enhance the rail services and connectivity that can provide significant benefit to our existing and prospective customers. CN has introduced rail connectivity to Decatur from the Canadian ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver in British Columbia, and Montreal, providing direct import lanes that bypass the congested Chicago rail network.”
Altenbaumer added: “To have a Class I railroad the caliber of CN become part of our strategic development effort is an honour and provides additional industry endorsement and credibility for our efforts. We are thrilled to have them as part of our team. This is a major step forward and will be followed by other exciting developments in the coming months.”
The Midwest Inland Port Strategic Development Coalition is made up of of exceptional organisations that have a shared vision for what the Midwest Inland Port can become. The other members of the Midwest Inland Port Strategic Development Coalition include locally prominent businesses ADM, Ameren Illinois and Decatur Memorial Hospital.
McCrady concluded: “The involvement of Clayco, OmniTrax and now CN provides a significant level of experience and expertise in the type of developmental opportunities we are working to achieve as part of the Midwest Inland Port.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is also a member of this coalition and provides key support to the joint efforts.