Monday, January 30, 2012

Rail: Moving From Niche to Mainstream

Could rail-served sites and communities be re-entering the mainstream of logistics development?

A logistics session at the IEDC Leadership Summit left me thinking the answer could be "yes."

Mainstream logistics have been thought of as a truck thing. Plop your big box building down along an interstate and accept trucks galore. Though that's still the norm for many distribution centers, the rail component is increasingly a component even in that decision, the panelists agreed.

"The beginning of a new era," is how Don Schjeldahl phrased the way that rail and rail-served sites have become more important in the site selectors' decision making. Where rail rolling stock is most available and most negotiable is where the niche becomes most mainstream.

This is a trend that bodes well for places like Licking County where dual rail service has been a niche for 150+ years.

Thanks, Allison Larsen, for a great session.

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