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Utah’s Inland Port: The Future of Logistics in the Intermountain Region or Gambling with Taxpayer Money?

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Austin Simonson

Over the last 20 years, US imports and consumer demand have steadily grown with no clear end in sight. Despite this, approximately 40% of all our containerized imports are processed through only two ports - the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. In 2021, these two locations alone moved over 10 million import containers. In order to help ease the strain on our nationwide supply chain - an issue that came clearly into view during the COVID-19 pandemic - in 2016, the University of Utah submitted an assessment regarding a possible inland port in the region and Governor Gary Herbert created the Inland Port Exploratory Committee to further the development of this concept. These plans were more formalized in 2018 with the creation of the Inland Port Authority and Inland Port, legal entities created by the Utah State Legislature in bill SB234. However, since its inception, the Utah Inland Port has come with its fair share of criticisms and controversy despite the organization's claim that they will "future-proof Utah by creating a robust supply chain and establishing a trade and logistics hub for the Intermountain West." Through the use of interviews with key stakeholders, analysis of past publications (including scholarly articles and media coverage), and retrospective analyses of other inland ports in the United States, this paper will seek to present detailed and objective findings regarding the proposed inland port project, including both the positive and negative impacts it would have on the region and a proposal as to its future.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #A31
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Business
Faculty Mentor: Simon Greathead