There’s been quite a bit of talk around Michigan as an incredibly fast-growing IT state. What you may not have heard as much about, is the prospect of Michigan blossoming into a very effective shipping hub for North America.
I know that seems strange. A peninsula doesn’t really strike anyone as the ideal place to concentrate shipping and logistic processes throughout the rest of the country. However, it’s got some real perks, as explained within a Forbes article written earlier this week.
The first of which is the traffic already running through the area. The Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron and the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit are the busiest US-Canada border crossings in the country. Michigan also has access to four deep water ports, as well as the Canadian National Railway.
Then there’s the win for business efficiency. Jim Smiertka of Prima Civitas Foundation explained to Forbes, “If you go through Chicago, your freight will be delayed five days. In Michigan, it would take one day.” Chipping four days off of cargo transportation can mean a very noticeable difference in a business’ bottom line. I’d be interested to see a business owner argue with that.
Let’s not forget possibly the most important asset Michigan has: people. With Michigan State’s Supply Chain Management program putting the rest of the country to shame, it’s a real asset to have them in-state. This adds some of the country’s top minds to make Michigan not just a supply/logistics hub, but innovators and groundbreakers for other areas throughout the country who are working to find more efficient transport processes.
Couple the strong supply chain management program with Michigan’s growing IT environment, and the industry can expect to become even more nimble. Since cloud computing is so quick, secure, and cost-effective, its deployment within business supply chains has increased a drastic 40% between 2011 and 2012, and is expected to continue to increase over the next few years.
Being able to spin up a VM in just a few short minutes allows a supply chain flexibility, and being able to pay only for the services being used keeps companies from wasting their money on what they don’t need just to make sure they have the capacity. It makes cloud computing an attractive option, and in consequence, the need for IT-oriented employees is more and more crucial to companies who will be planning a move to the cloud.
The Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub is working hard to improve trade between Canada and the Midwest, including an action plan given to Michigan’s governor that’s currently awaiting approval. Their goal is to take the largest international trade gateway in the country (Southeast Michigan), and create over 66,000 jobs in the area.
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