Special Report: Michigan’s I-69 Thumb Region

By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2015 Issue

The I-69 Thumb Region is rich in assets and opportunities. Covering seven counties in eastern Michigan, the region has a wide range of agricultural richness, manufacturing know-how and transportation resources. If it’s grown or created in the region or beyond we can transport it via rail, road, air or ship across the country and around the world.

Michigan's-I-69-thumb-regionThe region has a population of more than 860,000 people, over 395,000 workers with close to 360,000 jobs, and average earnings of $38,754. A rich history of manufacturing and agricultural resources has produced a skilled and available workforce. The workforce is enriched by many higher education campuses including: Baker College, Kettering University, Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine, Mott Community College, St. Clair Community College and The University of Michigan-Flint.

The region is served by four major expressways—I-69, I-75, US 23 and I-94; multiple rail providers, including CSX and Canadian National; Bishop International Airport and the Blue Water Bridge, which connects Port Huron to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. There are also multiple industrial business parks offering high quality/high value buildings and acreage.

There are great places to go fishing, trail systems for walking and natural waterways in the I-69 Thumb Region. Urban activities and cultural amenities make the region a draw for visitors and residents alike. The cost of living is low, quality k-12 and higher education are plentiful and innovative health care systems make the good life possible in the region.

The I-69 Thumb Region’s logistics and distribution market is growing rapidly according to a recent study by The Corradino Group (Click here for full report). The Kentucky project management company researches areas of potential growth in public and private sectors. The results of a study conducted this year in partnership IHS Global Insight revealed that the I-69 Thumb Region’s commodities traffic will see a 35 percent increase in tonnage and a 63 percent increase in the value of inbound and outbound freight by 2030. This indicates an increase in business transportation traffic valued at $48.2 billion. Two-thirds of the total regional freight market is made up of commodities such as transportation equipment, food and farm products, consumer items for retail distribution and electrical equipment. An increase in the transportation of these goods will stimulate the growth of business logistics, specifically the warehousing and distribution of goods.