Gateway for trade Featured

9:34am EDT July 22, 2002

Central Ohio is the Midwest's second largest container port, offering more than 140 million square feet of warehouse space and supporting more than $170 billion in international trade.

Here's proof, provided by the Columbus/Franklin County News Bureau:

  • More than one-fifth of the nation's international trade activity -- more than $170 billion worth -- is transported through Greater Columbus.

  • The world's largest dedicated cargo airport, Rickenbacker International Airport, is in Franklin County. With an on-site Foreign Trade Zone, its cargo operations rank among the top third in North America, based on takeoffs and landings. The airport was named for aviation pioneer Eddie Rickenbacker, a Columbus native.

  • Twelve Fortune 500 companies have significant operations at Rickenbacker, including Kraft, The Limited and Xerox. The overall cost of moving air cargo through Rickenbacker is 50 percent less than at New York JFK, 45 percent less than at Atlanta Hartsfield and 35 percent less than at Chicago O'Hare.

  • More than a dozen major air cargo carriers, including Fed Ex and UPS, operate out of Rickenbacker.

  • Other major companies operating distribution facilities in Greater Columbus include Spiegel, Eddie Bauer, The Gap, Goodyear Tire and Rubber and JC Penney Catalog.

  • Central Ohio has one-day truck access to 58 percent of the U.S population and 50 percent of the Canadian population.

  • Central Ohio has three intermodal rail terminals and more than 130 trucking companies with local operations.

  • The Greater Columbus Inland Port has established marketing and business relationships with the ports of New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles and Virginia, giving Columbus deep-water connections while developing its reputation as the rail intermodal gateway to the Midwest.

  • The North American eyeglass industry is focusing on Columbus with the development of an "optical village" at the Rickenbacker Air Industrial Park. Plans call for a campus of production and distribution facilities serving optical companies, including Cole Vision Corp. and Essilor of America.
How to reach: Columbus/Franklin County News Bureau,, 469-1727