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Vanta’s Viewpoint: Do We Deserve More?

 

INDIANAPOLIS – “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton.

I hope that flattery is what I am credited with here and not outright intellectual theft. My colleague from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority wrote a compelling piece that you a can read here. Ms. Deb DeLuca asks the questions that we in the Midwest have often pondered:

  • What’s the incentive/cost regarding the nation’s reliance on the record-breaking trade imbalance?
  • Why are we relying on supply chain access points that are operating beyond the utility of efficiency, capacity and environmental limits?

We’ve had months of news regarding the supply chain gridlock on the coasts and material shortages. We’ve had time to blame everything from global pandemic to personnel shortages. These are baseline true symptoms of a greater breakdown.  Don’t we deserve more? YES, is the answer.

 

“…one should think globally and act locally. That is what we see as our future at the Ports of Indiana.”

 

Let’s not just address the crisis of the moment. Let’s focus on the future that makes opportunities for our children’s children better. What we need is a true reckoning of our commitment to workforce, industry and value supply chain delivery.

Start with the people. Invest in the education and technology here in the states to continue to grow the advanced manufacturing base. Indiana is doing this today and leads the nation in manufacturing jobs per capita. Celebrate those companies that continue to move us forward. Move the jobs back onshore. Industry and businesses need to re-think the value proposition to communities in which they sell.

Reduce the to-market costs on the sales. Supply-chain cost and disruption threats can be eliminated and invested back into the business industries here. Invest to open additional supply chains through the many avenues that exist today which have available capacity. Today, two of the world’s greatest inland systems have that capacity – the Great Lakes and the Mississippi-Ohio river network. Indiana, not surprisingly, sits on both networks. Dare I say, we are the “crossroads?”

You may think that I am only promoting that which benefits my organization. I would suggest that the organization we work for is designed to promote growth that benefits the state, region and country. At the Ports of Indiana, we say Big Things Happen Here! We are literally talking about the 11 million tons our customers handled in 2021 and the $8.2 billion economic impact that they have on the Hoosier economy. We are also talking in terms of the next 50 years and how we can continue to be relative to the Hoosier growth story.

The U.S. government recently put forth the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset our infrastructure for the next 50 years. The decisions on where and how that money is spent is not final. When it does become final, will we look back and say we set the stage for a bright future for the country?

I subscribe to the notion that one should think globally and act locally. That is what we see as our future at the Ports of Indiana. We see the opportunity to capture a portion of the federal dollars that Hoosiers send to Washington and repatriate them into infrastructure here in Indiana. When we do this, our minds are set on future growth. We build infrastructure that will allow businesses to focus its investment on growth for the Indiana and nation’s economy. The supply chain advantages are here in Indiana. We believe Big Things Happen Here. And YES, we deserve more!

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