Page 18: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Jan/Feb 2019)
Cruise Ports Annual
SPECIAL REPORT here are inland ports in the truest sense: major lakefront and riverfront cities such as Chicago and
St. Louis, including even Duluth and Tulsa, with vast distribution areas, wildly varying cargo, roads,
Ttrains and waterways to serve them.
And, then, there are inland ports, dry ports that have vast dis- tribution areas, containerized cargo delivered from true ocean- front ports, a network of highways and, most importantly, at least one Tier 1 railroad that directly links them to the rest of the nation. It is here where the nation’s intermodal equation and the infrastructure to more effciently move freight is com- ing together. And, not a moment too soon.
NORTh FLORIdA MEgA PORT, ALMOST
Allison Magrath is the Senior Land Planner at Kimley-Horn in Gainesville, Florida. She was Industrial Development Man- ager - Real Estate for Plum Creek Paper Company from 2011 to 2016 that owned hundreds of acres of the forest on US 90 east of Lake City Florida. With nothing in place beyond a marketing campaign, Magrath spent six years negotiating land swaps with the state and federal government and securing, f- nally, state funds to pay for a railroad crossing of Highway 90.
While she struggled, the property was marketed as the Plum
Creek Inland Port, which turned into the Plum Creek Inter- modal Site. Three years ago the woodland was sold to Weyer- haeuser, which made it the Weyerhaeuser North Florida Mega
The Mega Industrial Park in November received $3.1 mil- lion for the long sought rail spur through the forest and into the Weyerhaeuser land. With the sale from Plum Creek to
Weyerhaeuser, Magrath was terminated. She now works with the Appalachian Regional Port, which has a CSX rail connec- tion and is developed by the Georgia Ports Authority connect- ed with the Port of Savannah, she said. land port. Without having those pieces in place you are going “There is less competing and a more united front in states to have these kinds of time delays Weyerhaeuser has seen with such as Georgia,” as compared to Florida, Magrath said. Wey- this project. And building a relationship with your surround- erhaeuser/ Plum Creek “was such a massive piece of property, ing ports is critical.” 2600 acres, that needed a lot of due diligence to get it going,” She added, “I believe in the project or I would not have she said. “And you can’t really get it going, effectively establish spent so much time on it myself … It is a little bit of a chal- a true inland port that’s moving cargo until you have the rail ac- lenge to convince somebody to be the frst person to locate out cess. Getting the rail spur though the forest was a challenge in there. But once they get the rail over there, I think it starts to itself. And then working through the process with DOT and be a completely different conversation.”
CSX to get an at-grade rail crossing was very time consum- ing process. And them fnding funding to get the rail spur in AMERICA’S gATEwAy, SORT OF … the ground before you have an end user that wants to actually Tracy Whirls is the executive director of the Glades County operate a business out of there has been a challenge. Now all of Economic Development Council, Inc. and she has followed the those pieces are falling into place and it just takes time.” development of the South Florida Inland site back even to when
Asked for her insight about the development of inland ports she was a reporter for the local paper. She has seen the site, she said, “Access to rail and proximity to an interstate, those along US 27 just west of Moore Haven, Florida go from the things are really the number one factors in my mind for an in- South Florida Inland Port to Americas Gateway, which prom- 18 Maritime Logistics Professional January/February 2019 | |