Louisville’s transportation and logistics centers link the region to the world | Sowoll

Release time: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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In the last five years, Kentucky has invested billions in Louisville’s transportation infrastructure. That, in turn, is leveraging a flow of more investment.
In 2016, all three of Louisville’s Ohio River project bridges were completed, including the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge across downtown, the new Lewis & Clark Bridge in the city’s East End, and the rehab of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. These bridges, combined with a complete redesign of the interstate interchanges at Louisville’s riverfront “spaghetti junction,” cost $2.5 billion.
This vitally important highway system puts Louisville within a one-day drive of some 50 percent of all United States markets.
TARC isn’t the only transportation company in Louisville to be investing in its future. Louisville International Airport (SDF) last year unveiled a $10 million, 105,000-s.f. renovation. The airport’s airlines responded by adding new routes. Southwest in 2018 announced a new nonstop route to Houston. Allegiant announced it would make Louisville a hub for nonstop flights.

That translates into big economic gains for the region. The airport is responsible for 69,900 jobs, $8.1 billion in economic activity, and $348.8 million in local and state tax revenue. To prepare for the future, airport administration plans a capital improvement program with estimated construction spending of approximately $311 million between fiscal year 2019 and 2023.
The airport and bus services aren’t the only modes of transport that are investing in growth. UPS has seen significant gains. The company’s supply chain and freight revenue increased 21 percent to $3.2 billion for 4Q 2017, and profit increased 51 percent to $270 million.
UPS’s 5.2 million-s.f. Worldport air hub, located on at the south end of Louisville International Airport, is the heart of UPS’s global air network. The automated hub sorts about 2 million packages a day, bound for destinations in the U.S. and around the world. South of the airport on Outer Loop, UPS Supply Chain Solutions provides logistics for other companies, such as warehousing/distribution, repair and refurbishment, kitting and more.
“UPS is growing,” said Jim Mayer, public relations manager for UPS Airlines. “To keep up with our rising demand, we are buying 35 new planes, most of them Boeing 747-8s. When the last plane is delivered in 2022, it will up our lift capacity by 30 percent.”
Mayer said the company anticipates continued growth in the coming years. UPS is investing more than $300 million in the Centennial ground hub expansion project, which will nearly double sort capacity for customers from 46,000 to 85,000 packages per hour and create 300 new jobs. UPS also unveiled a new state-of-the-art flight simulation center on its Louisville campus to train its pilots.
“E-commerce is growing significantly, and we don’t see that abating. Worldport is the engine room of a global economy, and it puts Louisville at the crossroads of the world. It gives the city advantages over other areas, in so many ways,” he said.
The Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana region also has the benefit of top-notch water, rail and logistics infrastructure to make it highly competitive. Goods and people are within efficient and affordable reach of the entire nation.
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