ACWI member Columbian Logistics Network hosted Michigan Transportation Planning Association Conference attendees for a tour of its warehouse facility in Grand Rapids, MI.
The visitors were drawn from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Grand Valley Metro Council, municipal planners and engineers, consultants, elected officials and staff from other Michigan metropolitan planning organizations.
Tour attendees learned about various aspects of freight transportation (specifically truck and rail), warehousing and how Columbian operates.
Dennis Kent, region transportation planner at MDOT, said “We anticipate the participants will have a better understanding of the logistics process in general, and this is an opportunity to highlight a locally-based logistics company.”
The relationship between Columbian and MDOT stretches back about 10 years. Staff members from MDOT worked with Columbian Chief Executive Officer John Zevalkink to help secure a loan from a state program to fund repairs to a CSX rail spur bridge that served the company.
Kent also said the tour helps state transportation planners better understand issues impacting the logistics industry, both locally and statewide.
“This partnership with Columbian, MDOT and the MTPA should lead to a better understanding of how public investments in the transportation system impact private sector operations,” he observed. “We appreciate Columbian allowing us access to their business and facilities as part of the MTPA conference in Grand Rapids.”