Regional Freight Study: Key Industries

Mid-America Freight Coalition 

Another element of the regional freight study is identifying major industries that will be the source of economic growth in the 21st century. These industries will be studied to better understand how transportation can be made a source of support for their growth. Participants in this breakout session at the 2011 MAFC Annual Meeting began by listing currently significant industries and those that are emerging.

Existing Industries

  • Warehousing
  • Chemical
  • Steel
  • Petroleum
  • Energy
    • Bio-fuels
    • Wind components
  • Agriculture
    • Crops
    • Livestock
    • Dairy
    • Produce
  • Auto
  • RV
  • Manufactured homes
  • Bridge beams
  • Paper
  • Non-metallic Ore
    • Sand
    • Dolomite
    • Limestone
    • Aggregates
  • Aircraft
  • Forestry
  • Mining
    • Metallic
    • Coal
  • Office furniture
  • Cement
  • Mining equipment
  • Electric equipment—generators

Emerging Industries

  • Value-added food processing
  • Taconite processing—near mine steel production
  • Diversified tool and die manufacturing
  • Military contracting—tired vehicles
  • Advanced manufacturing related to the auto industry
  • Transportation/logistics
    • Warehousing
    • Order fulfillment
    • Medical equipment distribution
  • New materials
    • Bio-plastics
    • Carbon fiber
  • Energy
    • Cellulose ethanol
    • Algae ethanol
    • Wind manufacturing
  • Energy storage—batteries
  • Small electric vehicles
  • New food markets—i.e. dried cherries
  • Identity preserved grains
  • Local Foods
    • Growing
    • Distribution
  • Exporting meats
  • Domestic production and marketing
    • Near sourcing
  • Cost
  • Risk
  • Identity preserved grains—container management

The group discussed in some depth how the listing might be consolidated and made more tractable, but were unable to drawn any conclusions.

Next Steps

At the end of the session, participants were asked to identify economic development experts in their state or region and return that information to the research team. The team will engage those experts to more fully define key industries and to identify contacts within each industry for interviews and information.

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