By Frank Lewis
The opening of The Port of South Point in Southern Ohio could bring as many as 1200 direct and indirect jobs to the region within the next three to five years. Ohio Bureau of Labor statistics show that employment of water transportation occupations alone will grow 13 percent over the next ten years.
The dedication of a new port on the Ohio River could mean a shot in the arm for the development of southern Ohio. Dr. Bill Dingus, Executive Director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), says the LEDC will host an official dedication ceremony for the new Port of South Point in South Point, Ohio on August 19, 2014 at 11 a.m. Dingus said the facility serves as a critical component of the multi-modal development at The Point Industrial Park. That is the only public port on the Ohio River between Wellsville, Ohio and the Indiana border.
Dingus said the port will put millions of tons of Ohio’s manufactured goods on the Ohio River to be shipped to other parts of the United States and other parts of the world.
“This port makes us a player in the global market place,” Dingus said. “This facility has a 100 foot river frontage and the dock allows for 3 vessels to be staged and loaded efficiently. The facility has a dock load capacity of over 300 tons each lift. We can move a lot of Ohio’s goods quickly.”
Patrick J. Donovan serves as the director of the Maritime and Intermodal Transportation and also directs the National Maritime Enhancement Institute at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
“Now Lawrence County, Ohio stands in a directing position in the global supply chain of the 21st Century,” Donovan said. “This port provides a catalyst on the Ohio River for the next generation of container on vessels operations in maritime transportation.”
“Without a doubt, this port opening will change the face of economic development in our region by allowing access to new markets, supply chains along with the diversification and enhancement of our region’s existing industries, Michael Manns, Chief Financial Officer of Superior Marine, Inc. in South Point said. “This will also open doors for new ventures and will attract dynamic commerce to the area. Superior Marine takes pride in being a part of The Port of South Point.”
Carl Grover, owner of Engines Inc., at the Point Industrial Park commented on what the port means to his business.
“We can now ship our products easily to the world marketplace.” These statements typify the reactions of the majority of business and industry leaders in the Tri-State area,” Grover said. “This river port will change businesses capabilities to access to global supply chains never before available to the region.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.