Inland Port Committee launches feasibility study

The Utah Inland Port Committee has contracted with Cambridge Systematics to begin an in-depth assessment of potential sites for an inland port in the state.

Last year, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute delivered an initial report confirming that Utah meets the criteria to create a successful inland port. In response to those findings, Gov. Herbert appointed World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) as committee leaders to create a data-driven recommendation for how to best proceed.

“We are confident Utah is an exceptional candidate for an inland port, and next steps include answering where and how we will execute,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “Our strategy requires sophisticated data so that we can make the best decision to benefit the state of Utah. The committee looks forward to our partnership with Cambridge Systematics.”

Cambridge Systematics will select potential port sites, assessing financial and technical viability of each location. The Massachusetts-based company has approximately 40 years’ experience in providing data rich analysis to inform planning, policy and various development projects nationwide. In addition, the study will provide comparisons to other U.S. inland ports and identify best practices. Cambridge Systematics will present its initial findings and recommendations to the committee Oct. 1.

Inland ports, or “dry ports,” are designated sites with strong transportation infrastructure and distribution operations. Land-locked states such as Utah use inland ports much like traditional coastal ports, providing services, such as customs clearance, to speed the process of inland international trade.  

“Increasing global e-commerce creates a high demand for quick and affordable transportation of goods, and Utah—already a competitive hub—is a prime location for innovative trade expansion,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “An inland port would take our state to the next level, opening doors to the global marketplace and expanding opportunities for sustainable economic growth.”