Logistics is the backbone of the economy, supporting more than a third of Utah’s economy. However, the movement of goods is often out of sight, out of mind – and not fully understood.
The UIPA serves as a coordinating body and technical expert on logistics issues, needs, and opportunities across the state and will provide informational resources pertaining to the supply chain network in Utah. It is a priority of the UIPA to keep local communities informed on planning, progress, and issues pertaining to UIPA activities and partnerships.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is logistics?
Logistics is the process of moving goods from its point of origin to the point of consumption within a supply chain. As the backbone of the economy, logistics can largely be invisible to everyday life but is critical to managing growth. Logistics infrastructure includes highways, warehousing and distribution centers, manufacturing plants, railways, and airports.
Logistics infrastructure in Utah links producers and consumers together through a global supply chain network. From sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, inventory, handling, customs inspection and processing, information and data storage, and warehousing, logistics moves the economy. A combination of air delivery services, rail operations, ocean shipping, and truck transportation move these materials and products and connect communities across the state to the rest of the world.
What is an inland port?
An inland port is a logistics hub located ‘inland’ – often far from coastal ports – but with strong connectivity to global trade gateways on the coasts through multiple transportation modes. Inland ports facilitate goods movement across modes (between airplanes, trains, and trucks). They often rely on the Class I rail network to link international trade gateways in inland distribution hubs, but inland ports depend on other modes, including the highway networks, airports, customs clearance, retail and e-commerce warehousing and distribution, and light manufacturing uses.
What makes the Utah Inland Port different and better?
While the Utah Inland Port features all the key elements of other successful inland ports, it stands out in several distinct ways:
Location – Utah is uniquely positioned and connected to the major gateways of the West Coast: located equidistant from the major seaports and almost exactly halfway between these vital logistics hubs and the massive distribution markets of the Midwest.
Sustainability and Innovation – Utah’s inland port begins with a focus on sustainable and smart logistics, development, and practices to put it at the forefront of innovation and attract capital and high value jobs.
Holistic – Partnerships with local communities will provide holistic support through workforce development, after school childcare, transit, and other key programs.
Statewide – Development of a statewide inland port system ensures efficiencies and value for both rural and urban communities.
Why should we have an inland port in Utah and why now?
Local logistics activity – including distribution and fulfillment centers, trucking and rail terminals, and manufacturing facilities – tend to cluster along major transportation routes. No place is this activity more concentrated or voluminous than the UIPA’s jurisdictional area, which is also one of the most concentrated hubs for light industrial manufacturing in the Western United States.
The UIPA uses this to the state’s advantage by touting our location in a way that will benefit businesses and communities around the state through improved market access, sustainable and efficient cargo handling, and unmatched global connections. By building on the excellent multi-modal transportation connections that are already present, we will prepare for future growth and economic stability as we promote the benefits of our connected and critical infrastructure network to the state’s rural economies, West Coast ports, and international markets.
The logistics industry doesn’t drive economic activity; logistics supports economic activity. A strong, sustainable economy needs a strong, sustainable, and reliable logistics system. Our lifestyle requires it. However, disruptive technologies are fueling sweeping changes and development is already happening – and the change is coming faster all the time. These factors make the time ripe for an inland port system that is organized and positioned in a way as to keep pace with innovation and change in order to stay ahead of predicted growth and channel development in the most sustainable way.
What will the inland port look like?
Development of Utah’s Inland Port is the single largest economic development effort in state history, however the UIPA is not a land owner, real estate developer, or operator and has no land use authority. Land use authority rests with municipalities – Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna – which means the UIPA cannot determine what is built on the parcels in its jurisdiction. But it can influence how things are built by inserting a global industry perspective into the development process and prioritizing the public’s values.
What does that look like? It looks like low-impact building standards for new construction, renewable energy options for business, and smart technology to support changing demand. It means moving the transport of more goods to rail and diverting truck traffic away to supply chain nodes off the Wasatch Front. It also could mean public transit options and improved road infrastructure. All are impactful changes that can come from UIPA partnerships. By coordinating planning and development, Utah’s logistics network will become a more efficient, resilient, and sustainable statewide system.
Who pays for the inland port?
The UIPA is a government agency that obtains funding from state appropriations, property tax differential, and private partnerships. The property tax differential is levied on the difference between current land values and improvements made on the land under UIPA jurisdiction that increase its value. The use of these funds is the primary tool of the UIPA to advance sustainable and smart logistics investments through partnerships, policies, and programs..
What is a satellite port?
While Salt Lake City is the leading trade and logistics center in Utah, strong logistics infrastructure exists across the state. The UIPA plans to develop a system of rural connections or “satellite ports” that serve as nodes in the Utah logistics system. These locations will form a complementary system of freight consolidating and movement assets to facilitate the efficient movement of goods throughout Utah.
Satellite ports are intended to catalyze trade activities statewide providing synergies necessary to boost imports and exports, improve access to domestic markets, and facilitate transit of goods and products of key Utah industries. The development of these locations also is intended to help rural areas of the state position themselves to participate in – and grow because of – the new market economy that will create better jobs for the future off the Wasatch Front.