Central Regional Logistics Council Strategic Plan Released

The Conexus Indiana Central Regional Logistics Council (CRLC) today released its regional logistics strategic plan detailing long-term infrastructure, public policy and talent development priorities to grow the logistics industry and the economy in the 28-county region.*

CRLC, created by Conexus Indiana, brought together 76 logistics executives and thought leaders from Central Indiana into a partnership with regional economic groups and chambers of commerce to develop strategies, goals and tactics to maximize short- and long-term success for the logistics sector in the region.

Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is a complete, detailed map of the region’s infrastructure assets, developed from countless hours of volunteer effort by local logistics executives,” said Mark DeFabis, president and CEO of Integrated Distribution Services Inc. and chair of the CRLC. “It establishes priorities in infrastructure, public policy and workforce development issues that we believe will maximize both short- and long-term success for the business community and residents of Central Indiana.”

The plan identifies 74 infrastructure projects, as well as public policy and workforce development opportunities, and establishes priorities for implementation. Infrastructure projects include road, rail, air and waterborne transportation, and projected costs are outlined for each. Priorities were determined based on the potential for each to decrease transportation bottlenecks, increase direct rail service, increase use of regional air facilities for freight, and improve mode-to-mode connectivity within the region.

Priority projects include:

  • Completing I-69 from Bloomington to Indianapolis;
  • Adding lanes on I-65, I-70 and I-69;
  • Finishing the rural segments of US 31;
  • Connecting I-69 to I-65 with an outer loop connecting Madison, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Hendricks and Boone counties;
  • Converting US 36 to freeway-like access from I-465 to Danville;
  • Widening the existing 2-lane segment of US 231 to a 4-lane segment from Lafayette to I-74 in Crawfordsville; and
  • Improving and widening US 27 to a “Super-2” from Monroe to I-70 in Richmond.

These projects will  relieve the bottleneck of combined truck and passenger car congestion on both interstates and US highways.

“These and other regional projects address ‘big-picture’ issues,” said Betsy McCaw, chief operating officer at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. “But the smaller local projects are equally important to the region and the state. We create opportunities to grow our economy when we maintain and increase our logistics assets. That also translates into more high-paying logistics careers for Hoosiers.”

Strengthening the Crossroads is a huge asset for the region,” said DeFabis. “The plan addresses the importance of ensuring federal, state and local governments do not regulate barriers to the safe, efficient and innovative movement of goods and resources through the region and to ensure adequate funding to support the infrastructure priorities. When businesses consider relocating or expanding in the region, those kinds of efforts demonstrate our commitment to maintaining and growing our infrastructure assets. And an attractive environment for business translates to increased mobility and job opportunity for Central Indiana residents.”

Educational opportunities to meet the next generation of business needs for skilled workers in the regional logistics industry are identified to respond to the shortages of air cargo pilots, truck drivers, barge captains, locomotive engineers, warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians and 4-year degree supervisors and supply chain graduates.

“Logistics excellence can maximize our economic strength in so many ways,” said DeFabis. “Proactively addressing workforce development to provide the skills businesses need is an essential function of Strengthening the Crossroads to achieve increased opportunities for employees today and in the future.”

The CRLC is one of six regional councils developed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC) at the request of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Ports of Indiana to identify state, regional and local logistics needs in each area of the state.

Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is the fifth regional strategic plan to be released,” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development at Conexus Indiana. “Like the others, the CRLC plan is the product of many hours of hard work by volunteers from among logistics executives, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and both public and nonprofit organizations that share our concern for the future of Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America.’”

A summary of strategies, goals and tactics identified in Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is attached, and the entire Plan can be downloaded at www.Conexusindiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.

*The Indiana counties within the Central Region are Boone, Brown, Clinton, Delaware, Fayette, Fountain, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vermillion and Wayne.