With no evidence, "big idea" champions believe shippers need an alternative to O'Hare, suggesting that international air cargo shippers are disadvantaged by having to truck freight a few hours past St. Louis to Chicago, but many international shippers already truck shipments from the Midwest much further to gateways like Los Angeles and Miami," writes Webber. "Trucking company Sterling Transportation Inc. does nothing but truck freight between Miami and Los Angeles to leverage the superior Latin American access of the former and the Asian superiority of the latter. So when trucking economics sustain competitive advantages on segments as distant as Miami and Los Angeles, the distance from St. Louis to Chicago hardly seems excessive.Webber also disputes the notion that St. Louis would need to build up to 27 million square feet of warehouse space to process and organize all the inventory arriving here from China. Based on the eight or so weekly flights St. Louis could expect to land from China, the region would need a fraction of that warehouse space -- just about 100,000 to 200,000 square feet, he says.
"Rather than merely revise the scale of this project, Missouri should recognize that it has been hoodwinked so badly that not only should the State abandon consideration of future funding, it should seek to recover what has already been wasted. Legislators and state bureaucrats, as well as members of the media who lazily parroted talking points, should repent for having so carelessly treated a potential obligation of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, even as so many much more worthy priorities confront Missouri."Daily RFT has a call out to Webber to get more of his thoughts. Perhaps not surprisingly, the woman who answered the phone at his business this morning said he's currently on a flight and could not speak until later today. It should be noted that Webber bases his consultancy, Webber Air-Cargo Inc., out of Kansas City and his clients include Chicago and its O'Hare Airport.
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