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Southwest coalition seeks to connect supply chains ‘growing chaotically’

Nevada seeks stakeholders from neighboring states of California, Utah and Arizona

Stakeholders have formed the Southwest Supply Chain Coalition to take a regional approach to infrastructure investments.

Supply chain stakeholders are forming a coalition in the southwestern U.S. that seeks to stage certain logistics activities in Nevada, Utah and Arizona and away from the densely populated metropolitan and port areas in California. 

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and think tank OnTrackNorthAmerica have established the Southwest Supply Chain Coalition in a move they say will alleviate congested highways and improve the balance of truck and rail transportation, thereby creating systemwide efficiency for the regional supply chain.

The coalition seeks to reach out to counterparts in California, Utah and Arizona to develop a regional approach to coordinating and investing in supply chain transportation infrastructure, while still serving the needs of each respective state. The group is seeking participation from landowners, developers, transportation and energy service providers, local leaders and planners, and shippers and ocean carriers, among others. 

“Supply chains extend beyond individual companies, beyond individual industries and beyond state borders,” GOED Deputy Director Kris Sanchez said Aug. 30. “The supply chains of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona are inextricably linked and growing chaotically.

“California’s supply chains have expanded into Nevada, Arizona and Utah for warehousing, distribution and production,” Sanchez continued. “Yet, there is only one warehouse in Nevada that is receiving or shipping goods by rail. Meanwhile, 70% of all trucks traveling in Nevada are coming from or going to California.”

Nevada’s involvement comes as the state developed a rail plan, written with the help of OnTrackNorthAmerica’s CEO Michael Sussman, that sought how to integrate Nevada’s trucking and rail resources to better serve the state’s freight needs. Nevada’s 2021 rail plan argues that building out the state’s freight rail infrastructure supports nearshoring efforts as companies seek to source more materials and parts within North America.

“Supply chains need to be redesigned to support reshoring of manufacturing and colocation of processing and distribution facilities within the region,” Sussman said. 

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.