The Ohio River Doubles as a Major Highway
There are times it seems the Ohio River has more traffic than nearby Interstate 64, as barges carrying fuel, machinery and other manufacturing necessities travel up and down the waterway separating southern Ohio from West Virginia and Kentucky. Right on the river, South Point, Ohio, is home to The Point Industrial Park—Southern Ohio’s only public port and a key job creator to the 400,000 residents of the Tri-State region. The intermodal transportation hub provides a strategic location and lucrative incentives for businesses looking for a community where they can develop and prosper.
Administered by the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and encompassing 500 acres, The Point is one of Ohio’s fastest-growing industrial parks. The Point is perfectly positioned to provide businesses the capability to move goods from the southern-most point in Ohio to any location on the globe. With over 400 available acres, LEDC openly offers to trade land and support for new jobs.
From Ohio to the World
One of the key elements The Point offers to businesses is the park’s strategic location. The team at The Point understands that proximity to supply chains and transportation infrastructure are primary factors businesses consider when selecting where to locate, which is why the LEDC has worked hard to develop an intermodal facility capable of handling a variety of transportation needs up to 300 tons.
“Often a business’ success or failure lies with its connection via road, rail and water to the markets,” says Bill Dingus, Ph.D., LEDC executive director. “The Point has been highlighted in both state and national publications, and it was recently awarded a $9.5 million Logistics and Distribution Grant in recognition of its logistics potential and value to Ohio.”
With 3,400 feet of river frontage, resident businesses at The Point have the capability to be one step away from putting goods on the Ohio River. The Point is in the middle of the Port of Huntington, one of the largest inland ports in the United States.
As Southern Ohio’s only public port, and the region’s only port with space for new industry, The Point provides businesses an incentive-laden location that simply cannot be matched. Dingus says that having a public port assures any and all businesses residing at The Point with the capability to move products on the river, providing a direct link to destinations around the world at the lowest possible price.
Norfolk Southern’s Heartland Corridor, which connects Norfolk, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, runs directly through The Point. This stretch of rail provides The Point another connection, granting easy access to the world through one of the East Coast’s busiest transportation hubs.
The Point has eight miles of private rail, including a full rail loop, rail scales, a 10,000 square-foot truck-to-rail transfer pad and numerous rail spurs available to Point tenants. “It is not uncommon for businesses to incur costs of more than $500,000 to install one rail spur,” Jeremy Clay, director of operations for The Point, said. “By already having this available, The Point provides a huge draw for businesses looking for a place to call home.”
Road and Air
The Point is located three miles from Interstate 64 via four-lane US 52, providing motor freight access to major markets via the fourth largest highway system in the United States.
The Huntington Tri-State Airport is only 20 minutes from The Point. The Huntington, W.Va., airport provides four daily flights to Charlotte, a major US Airways hub with connections all over the world, and numerous vacation flights via Allegiant Air.
The Point’s Unique Values
The Point Industrial park is a hotspot for manufacturing and welding. From remanufacturing river barges to building specialized electronic equipment, quality craftsmen are always in high demand. To meet these needs, the Ohio Strategic Training Center was established at The Point to create and maintain a welding training program, support the skill needs of the maritime industry and prepare the region’s workforce for the specialized needs of future industry. Much of their work is accomplished through partnerships with research programs like the Ohio State University Edison Welding Institute and the National Center for Welding Education and Training based out of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio.
With an abundance of developable land and numerous flexible incentives, The Point has attracted businesses such as the regional FedEx Ground distribution center; Intermountain Electronics, a Utah-based manufacturer of power distribution equipment for all energy industries; and Orica, a multinational corporation based in Australia that manufactures mining support equipment.
Carl Grover, CEO of The Point tenant Engines, Inc., said he has enjoyed his partnership with The Point.
“The greatest value of being in The Point is the support and partnership of the leadership,” Grover said. “For example, LEDC installed a set of rail scales so that my company could accept contracts to remanufacture rail cars. They really take care of the resident companies in The Point.”
Ohio offers a wide variety of incentives to businesses, as well as one of the lowest tax structures in the nation. The Point, proud to be a key job supplier and a foundation for economic growth in Southern Ohio, has no plans to slow down.