Between September 23 and 25 up in Winnipeg, the North American Corridor Coalition (NASCO) will be meeting. One of the major topics of the convention is developing a midwest freight corridor from Texas ports to the Midwest.
What is driving this is the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015. Lots has been written about how the Panama Canal expansion will affect East Coast ports. But there is an opportunity to significantly increase ocean freight from Panama to the Port of Houston and other Texas ports. By doing so, inland transportation distances can be cut substantially. With fuel costs rising and trucks being scarce, shippers may find a low cost opportunity through Texas and Panama to ship from or to Asia and western Central and South America. Today the inland freight corridors from Texas to the Midwest are not fully developed and circuitous.
The Midwest Freight Corridor provides a chance for grain and heavy machinery users in the Midwest to increase their competitiveness. Walmart choose to bring some product from Asia into Midwest through the Port of Houston a few years back to gain alternatives to the west coast ports. Today, in all probability Walmart is paying a small premium on this freight rather than come through the West Coast, but has instead a more reliable supply chain, which is crucial to their operation.
The standard these days is to work for joint public-private partnerships on the infrastructure of this nature. Likely to potential to increase employment and growth in an area needing it, will propel this process along. See the process develop will be of great interest. How new is this? There is not a website established for it yet.