Cincinnati, OH… The Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) and Inland River Ports and Terminals (IRPT), in conjunction with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAD) co-hosted an M-70/StrongPorts Workshop on March 23 and 24, 2016 in Cincinnati, OH. The Workshop was attended by over 60 key representatives from federal, state and regional public interests, along with private industry representing terminals, shippers and transportation companies.
Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, Maritime Administrator, gave a presentation highlighting MarAd’s focus on the Marine Highway Program, and on key strategies to formulate an M-70 Coalition/Partnership to energize the development of expanded freight opportunities along the marine corridors of the United States. “The U.S. is facing a future that is either bearing down on us or, in many cases, is already here,” Jaenichen said in reference to projected increases in freight. He went on to project that, “… by 2045, U.S. freight volumes will increase by 45%; this workshop is a ‘call to arms’ to begin thinking creatively about how to utilize the Marine Highway System [to be a part of that solution].”
CORBA and IRPT will lead the industry effort to form a steering committee to focus on the formation of a broader M-70/Ohio River Coalition. This new industry-led coalition will focus on strategies to develop intermodal and other non-traditional freight and cargo along the inland river system of the U.S., especially the Ohio River. “This is an exciting opportunity for CORBA, IRPT, and the entire Ohio River business community to come together to work cooperatively and collaboratively toward a common vision for a dynamic future of intermodal freight along the Ohio River and all of America’s Marine Highways”, said CORBA’s Executive Director, Eric Thomas. “Stay tuned for future announcements from the steering committee about the M-70/Ohio River Coalition,” he said.
The M-70 Coalition will represent six states including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and is necessary to support the future intermodal freight transportation needs of the country. There was a common theme of cooperation and collaboration throughout all the presentations of the workshop. “We can’t be competitors; we must be collaborators,” Jaenichen said. Numerous presentations were given outlining national, state and regional resources available to assist private industry in the development of the nation’s ports, terminals and Marine Highways of the future.
CORBA – The Central Ohio River Business Association – represents an alliance of businesses and industries engaged in river commerce on and along the Ohio River and her tributaries throughout the region. CORBA’s mission is to unite river business and industry to speak with a common voice in promoting commerce, safety and security, environmental stewardship and public relations for the Central Ohio River Valley Region.
CORBA consists of more than 50 members, which include barge and towing companies, equipment supply companies, cargo terminals, shippers, marine services, commercial passenger operators, public port authorities, public agencies and technical colleges. To learn more about CORBA go to www.corba-usa.org
Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) is a nationwide trade association composed of ports, terminals, users and suppliers of the U.S. Inland Waterway system. IRPT promotes the use of our nation’s rivers as the most cost effective, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation. To learn more about IRPT go to www.irpt.net