2014 Infrastructure Issues Study Tour


 Infrastructure Issues Tour - August 30-September 6, 2014

The Infrastructure Study Tour participants left Bloomington Saturday morning to visit U.S. ports in Galveston/Port Arthur, New Orleans, Savannah, and Norfolk.  The tour visits include river, rail, and port import/export terminals, shippers, agribusiness, unions, and Port Authorities.  Issues discussed include river, rail, highway, and ocean going freight and commodity shipments; location and reasons behind current or projected bottlenecks; areas to be upgraded or expanded due to export/import trends or Panama Canal expansion; funding options for harbor and waterway maintenance and expansion, national freight transportation policy to meet growing demand, etc.  Check back daily for day by day trip updates, photos, and news stories.  Follow the tour on Twitter at FWN/RFD Radio and #infrastructuretour.

Day-to-Day Recap:  

Day-by-Day Report

Day 8 - Saturday, September 6, 2014

The group arrived back in Bloomington mid-morning to conclude the trip.

Day 7 - Friday, September 5, 2014 - Virginia

The tour attended several meetings and visits this morning including Port of Viriginia (the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast), Greg Edwards of Virginia Port Authority, and CSX officials.  Mid-morning the group traveled to APM Terminals Virginia, Portsmouth for a port tour and discussion.  From Portsmouth, the tour traveled to Perdue AgBusiness, Chesapeake, Virginia for a tour and company overview.  After lunch tour members visited the ARREFF facility and Coastal Commodities


IFB farmers visit APM terminal, built by MAERSK shipping. 


Day 6 - Thursday, Septhember 4, 2014 - Georgia

Georgia Innoviations/Logistics and Georgia Department of Ag presented to the group this morning; shortly after the tour departed for a mid-afternoon flight to Norfolk, Virgina. 

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Farmers hearing  presentation from head of Georgia Center of Innovation Logistics.

Day 5 - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - Georgia

The group arrived in Savannah mid-morning and toured the Georgia Ports Authority-Savannah, the largest single container terminal in North America and the second-busiest U.S. container exporter. That afternoon participants toured JIMCO in Garden City and Castle and Cook Cold Storage in Savannah.

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Workers at JIMCO transfer product from rail car to a container. Process takes 15 minutes.

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Containers full of product at Savannah's port.

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Farmers get tour of Castle and Cook Cold Storage. Customers include Dole and Fiji water.

Day 4 - Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - Louisiana

Participants left for an early morning tour and discussion with Consolidated Grain and Barge in Convent, Louisiana.  Consolidated Grain and Barge (CGB) provides services for grain farmers raning from buying, storing, selling and shipping of crop, to financing and risk management.  CGB continues to be one of the largest shippers of grain on the inland river system.

 Infrastructure Picture of Group

After lunch, the group traveled to the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve, LA for a tour and meeting with Port of South Louisiana's Executive Director and Director of Business Development.  Late afternoon, the tour traveled back to New Orleans to tour New Orleans Cold Storage, the oldest cold storage company in North America, and closed out the night with a dinner and discussion with Sean Duffy, Executive Director of Big River Coalition.

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Day 3 - Monday, September 1, 2014 - New Orleans

Participants left for an early morning flight from Houston to New Orleans and arrived late morning.   The group traveled to Ama, Louisiana for an early afternoon visit with ADM.  Several of the participants spent the evening touring and learning about the rich history of New Orleans.

 Owly Images Farmers learning about ADM unloading process in New Orleans on Monday afternoon. 

Day 2 - Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Texas

This morning the group traveeled to the Port of Galveston for a tour and then boarded a bus to Houston.  Once in Houston the participants attended a presentation on trucking issues and infrastructure by Brian Fielkow, JETCO.   Click here to link to an article where Brian Fielkow comments on the trucker shortage.

Day 1 - Saturday, August 30,2014 - Texas

Participants enjoyed a late morning tour and presentation at Port of Port Arthur (Port Arthur map). 

Later in the afternoon the group traveled to the Sabine Neches Navigation District for a discussion and tour with the General Manager.


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Meet The Participants