July 20 – Decatur’s Midwest Inland Port (MIP) is continuing to grow and more businesses are starting to realize its value and potential.
The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County (EDC) hosted a Business Development Forum Wednesday afternoon to update the public on the port’s continued growth and to provide some success stories from local businesses utilizing the MIP’s amenities. EDC President Ryan McCrady says it’s important the community knows about the port’s progress.
“We wanted to update the community on how things have been going since our September Market Launch,” McCrady says. “We also wanted give OmniTRAX the opportunity to announce their partnership with Topflight Grain and what it means for future development of the Midwest Inland Port.”
OmniTRAX announced they will now manage the newly named Decatur Central Railroad, which links Cisco and Decatur. More information about this announcement can be found in our previous story here. Officials with OmniTRAX spoke at the forum touting the benefits of Decatur and the MIP. Those in attendance also heard from the CN Railway, ADM, T/CCI, and Ameren Illinois, who are all MIP partners.
Kara Demirjian Huss from T/CCI says their company has been able to use the MIP to cut back on transportation costs.
“We used to have global shipments come in to Joliet which then had to be trucked down to Decatur,” Demirjian Huss explained. “Now, we are using the CN and ADM partnership, which brings shipments directly to Decatur. It’s just a three-mile truck drive and that is saving us about $400,000 annually.”
Representatives from other MIP partners explained how they were using the port to further grow their respective businesses. The EDC also used the time to let businesses know the port is a great alternative to the congestion many companies face in the Chicago area. Several of the companies that spoke said that is a big reason they save money. Overall, McCrady says the forum served as more than just a pitch.
“This is reality. When you start hearing about success stories like T/CCI saving $400,000 a year moving product through the intermodal ramp, that’s a success story,” McCrady says. “When you hear OmniTRAX talk about their connections with 350 industrial users around the country, that shows you the exposure this project is getting on a national and international level.”
“We want everyone to know that local businesses stand to benefit two-fold,” McCrady continues. “One by the lower cost of logistics, and two by the overall development of the community.”
McCrady hopes today’s forum will help the public see the future the MIP project can provide. He says a lot of things aren’t obvious to the community, but it is a big deal.
“It’s important that we communicate these efforts to the community,” he says. “When you hear about local businesses using the services and the amount of money they are saving, we hope people see it is making a difference.”
You can check back to NowDecatur.com this evening for video coverage of each speaker at today’s forum.