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Success Strategies
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A national firm with 40 years of experi- ence in creating success strategies for the transportation and logistics industries will soon focus its attentions on the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
Cambridge Systematics, Inc., was awarded a $100,000 contract to delve into the region’s industrial spaces, transportation infrastructure and logistics-related compa- nies with the purpose of developing a plan to attract firms to EUP.
The resulting strategy will be implement- ed by the area’s planners and economic developers, which is why it was jointly fund- ed by Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development (EUPRPDC), Chippewa County, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Community Development Block Grant program
Collaborating with Cambridge will be Global Logistics Development Partners – an investment advisory firm currently working with Cambridge on a wide variety of projects including one related to Michigan’s trade infrastructure.
“We are really excited about the team of Cambridge Systematics and GLD Partners,” said Planner Eric Wedesky, of EUPRPDC. “They had an extremely strong proposal and we are confident they will offer the region a new direction that exceeds those efforts out- lined in the past,” he noted.
The consulting team will look closely at existing infrastructural assets in the region and target potential candidates in industries related to transportation and logistics. An umbrella term of sorts, logistics refers to those services that play any role in the move- ment of goods. Warehouses, inventory man- agement companies, fleet management and firms that specialize in supply and demand planning all fall under the heading of logis-
tics. With a more detailed account of the area’s assets in hand, both consultants and local stakeholders will be able to make a busi- ness case for relocation to the EUP.
“The region is rich with infrastructural assets and is strategically located in terms of its position on the Great Lakes and at an international border crossing,” said Jeff Hagan, CEO of EUPRPDC. “We have the raw materials but have previously lacked a well-devised plan for how to best present ourselves to the companies we are targeting. This project will give us both a detailed assessment of what we have to offer, as well as an actual strategy for approaching prospects,” he said.
Together, the two consulting firms con- ducted site visits in mid-May, including meetings with local stakeholders, project partners and visits to various assets located in Sault Ste. Marie and Kincheloe Michigan. Beyond those funding the project, EUPRPDC will work with several other partners, including the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, economic development organizations throughout the EUP, trucking and logistics firms already located in the area, industrial property managers, tribal commu- nity developers, and higher education insti- tutions.
The goal of studying the area’s infrastruc- ture with some conclusions on the feasibility of pursuing Transportation Logistics options is projected to be complete in October, and will be followed by the outreach plan in February.
A Local Technical Assistance Grant is also funding the first phase regarding feasibility and is provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
For more information on the EUP Transportation Logistics Strategy, contact EUPRPDC at (906) 635-1581.
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