Logistics; making an investment in the region.

Author:Blouse, Dick

Each day, the movement of people, goods and information around the world expands exponentially. According to the World Bank, the global logisties industry is expected to increase from $4 million a year to $14 trillion a year by 2020. This growth holds a lot of promise for diversifying and growing the Detroit Region's economy because we have many of the assets necessary for being a major center of international commerce.

That is why the Chamber is championing the TranslinkeD initiative. Our vision is to position Southeast Michgan as a global logistics hub in order to create jobs and increase investment here. We must work together as a region to connect and improve our logistics system as part of an overall strategy to transform Southeast Michigan's economy.

Every year, our border crossings handle almost $200 billion in imports and exports. That makes Detroit and Port Huron the busiest border region in North America. Furthermore, our state moves more commodities than any other state in the union. Our region is the gateway to North American trade, and our vision for a logistics hub can be one of our top strengths.

Around the country, other regions have recognized the importance logistics systems have in growing their economies. Areas like Kansas City, Louisville, Columbus and Memphis all have coordinated transportation programs. These programs are usually executed through councils with participants from the business community and government. The charge of these councils is to effectively market and continuously improve their infrastructure assets.

In order to handle the tremendous amount of trade crossing the Detroit Region's borders, we must improve our logistics system's capacity and efficiency. While we do have an...

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