IRPT held its first Southeast Rivers Basin meeting! Follow up to Tenn Tom Development Opportunities Conference

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Tenn-Tom Development Opportunities Conference in Point Clear, Alabama. If you missed the event, you can mark your calendars for next year’s conference held August 27-29, 2019.

While there, IRPT held its first Southeast Rivers Basin meeting! You can view the topics of discussion here by accessing the agenda. The meeting was well attended and the discussion was great. We are looking forward to holding another Southeast Rivers Basin meeting during the 2019 Tenn-Tom Development Conference.

During the 36th Annual Tenn-Tom Conference (to which IRPT Member Ron Coles was recognized for attending every single year), there were many great speakers, but there are a couple I wanted to bring to your attention:

  1. Erica York and Nicole Kaeding of the Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. presented on “Tariff Impacts on the US Economy. I cannot begin to quote the many tariffs and retaliatory tariffs to-date, but I can share the link with you: You will find that according to the Tax Foundation, “the Trump administration has enacted tariffs on imported solar panels, washing machines, steel, aluminum, and various products imported from China. We estimate that these measures will amount to a total tax increase of $22 billion.” Their website also has many other interactive resources that you might find valuable.
  2. Janaina (Jane) Siegler of Butler University presented on “Taking the Plunge: Making a Modal Shift”. You may remember Jane from IRPT’s Conference in Cincinnati, and just as I enjoyed hearing Jane speak in Cincinnati, she was amazing as well in Point Clear. There were so many great points she hit on, but two of the points, I wanted to share with you are:
    1. In making the case to encourage a higher use of the waterways, she reminded us that as ports, or as terminals, we must adopt the mind-frame of becoming all inclusive transportation providers. Does this mean that if you are an import/coastal port, that you should now become a trucking provider? No. However, we should be able to work together to allow for easier , or less-burdensome way for shippers to do business with ports and terminals. For this, I would like to remind our IRPT Members to utilize the Membership Directory when you need a port, terminal, or other provider when the need arises. Our Directory is categorized in 2 ways: Alphabetically by Company name and By Basin. If you are looking for a destination port/terminal to do business with, the Directory may be of great resource to you.
    2. New to Jane’s presentation since March, was the cluster mapping. Available at , “The U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is used by governments, economic developers, and businesses to understand and shape the competitive landscape for a wide range of industries.” Clusters exist where the economic activities in a set of related industries in a given location reach critical mass. So, for example, of great use to IRPT Members, you can search:
      1. by a specific industry, such as automotive, chemical, etc. to find the greatest concentration of where the specific industry is located within the United States. The specific example that Jane walked us through was the automotive cluster. Here is a screenshot:

You can see by the data that the largest cluster of automotive sectors, represented by darker shades of blue, are Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, etc.

    1. ii. by region. For example, I searched the region where I live (on the Gulf Coast) and it shows the cluster portfolios for employment, specialization, innovation, etc. Using my regions dashboard, you can see by the below screenshot, that water transportation is the largest cluster of employment in our region, followed by hospitality and tourism.

In any case, the site provides just an enormous amount of information. If any IRPT Member would like help navigating through the site for the first time, I’d be happy to help out. Just simply send me an email and we can set a time to discuss.

Hope you enjoy the information and hope you can make it to Point Clear next year!

Aimee Andres, AMPE
Executive Director