SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Inland Port project planned for northwest Salt Lake City is controversial in Utah. But several foreign companies seem eager to invest in it.
World Trade Center Utah CEO Miles Hansen says he spoke with the chairman of the Shanghai International Port Group, the world’s largest port operator, during a trade mission to China last fall.
“He became increasingly interested in the Inland Port,” Hansen says.
And that’s not the only interest the Inland Port has drummed up.
“I just met with one company who is the third-largest shipping company in the world, and they have very strong interest [in the Inland Port],” Hansen says.
Jack Hedge, the Executive Director of the Utah Inland Port Authority, believes it’s too soon to make a deal with any company, foreign or domestic. However, he’s not surprised that overseas companies or other nations see the opportunities.
“They’re interested in investing in the U.S. They see this as a safe place for their capital investments,” Hedge says.
Hansen believes any deal would make the Inland Port more environmentally friendly because many port operators, including those in China, are using greener technologies.
“We’ll make sure that this Inland Port is global in nature and make it more likely that we can use this as a catalyst to drive more advanced manufacturing [and] more investment into infrastructure, which will take trucks off the road,” Hansen says.
Hedge is also open to deals with environmentally friendly companies.
“Certainly we are interested in talking to operators who are interested in having the kind of green facilities that support a sustainable supply chain. And we’re looking globally at those best practices,” Hedge says.
But Hedge also stresses that the majority of companies investing in the Inland Port will be American companies.