Potential for economic impact nets award

BELLAIRE MPR Supply Chain Solutions received the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance’s (EODA) award in the New and Evolving Business Category, beating out businesses from 16 other Ohio counties, it was announced by Rick Frio, President and Chief Executive Officer

The award is given out annually to new Ohio companies that demonstrate the extent of their impact on the region through current and future job creation as well the value proposition they provide their customers.

“We are extremely pleased to win this award from the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance,” Frio said. “In only our second year in operation, MPR has demonstrated and validated our ability to help shippers cut their logistics expenditures by utilizing a combination of transportation modes. In this instance, shipping upriver via barge and then transloading to truck has provided as much as a 50 percent cost savings compared to going strictly by truck.”

Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede, who nominated MPR for the award, added, “The MPR facility is putting people to work in an economically depressed region where jobs are most desperately needed. These jobs are living wage jobs allowing the people of Belmont County a much needed opportunity to make a living and provide for their families.”

Saying that MPR “has successfully opened a corridor from Lake Erie to the Ohio River” that has resulted in transportation cost reductions for its customers, Favede called the transload facility “critical to the economic vitality of Southeast Ohio.”

“We are anticipating our transload operation being the first step in an economic renaissance for the Ohio Valley and Belmont County in particular,” said Dave Humphreys, MPR Chief Operating Officer. “Not only have we been able to create a number of well-paying jobs, but our carrier-partners as well as other vendors are adding positions to accommodate this new business activity too, and they anticipate continuing to do so as we grow our business.”

‘This project can have the greatest impact on a region as any project that I’ve ever worked on,” said Larry Merry, Director of the Belmont County Port Authority, and a 20-year veteran of economic development work. “It not only affects Bellaire, but it has a regional impact as well. It gives an economic advantage of river, rail and the highway to any company in region that is shipping product in and out of the area.”

Merry said that MPR’s transload facility will provide transportation efficiencies for companies not only in other areas of the county like Cambridge and New Philadelphia, but to companies in the tri-state region as well. “It’s got an economic impact that is far bigger than shipping steel,” he added. “The steel is what we see right now. It’s the product we cannot imagine yet that can go in and out of this port facility.”

The company receives barge-load quantities of steel products from its customers and then moves them by truck to customer locations. Noting that one of MPR’s customers produces wire rod coils, Favede said, “The coils that are being stored (at MPR) are made in the United States and shipped to the site from Texas by river barge. From Bellaire, they will be loaded onto trucks and trains and shipped to customers throughout the Northeast and Canada.”

In addition to generating tax revenue for both Bellaire and Belmont County, Favede estimates that MPR has “infinite potential” to attract additional businesses not only in the village but also in places “like the emerging industrial parks in Barnesville.”

“The new Eastern Ohio Regional Industrial Park is strategically located near Interstate 70, also taking unique advantage of its prime location, and will be an extraordinary benefit to the transloading facility,” said Favede. “The ability to load and unload as well as warehouse product in the new industrial park is paving the way for tremendous economic growth in a county that has suffered tremendous economic loss over the past decade.”

Favede concluded, “The transloading facility, coupled with the new industrial park, is likened to much needed infrastructure. Its success will cause other businesses to grow and additional businesses to relocate to this region because of the availability to move products off one transportation mode to another.”

MPR is a transload services company that is a multi-modal Gateway Distribution Point for a variety of materials, including various steel products. Utilizing our strategic location along the Ohio River as well as Class I and shortline railroads and within a stone’s throw of one of the busiest interstates in the US, MPR has documented transportation costs savings of up to 50 percent for its customers.