The impact of the Marion Industrial Center on the Marion community and economy can easily be overlooked if you don’t understand what an intermodal transportation center does. Intermodal freight transportation is a combination of two or more different shipping modes like a truck, rail, ship, or aircraft to move freight to the final destination. By using an intermodal center, it allows companies to lower costs, have consistent capacity, quality service in a safe and secure manner.
To have this in Marion makes a huge economic impact on our community. Using the Center allows businesses to develop and thrive, making Marion a more attractive place to bring new business. Because of this impact, Marion Industrial Center is one of MarionMade!’s 2020 Celebrate Marion honorees, in the Products category.
The Marion Industrial Center (MIC) started in 1975 with Ted Graham coming to Marion and purchasing the former Army Engineering Depot located along State Route 309. The Marion Army Engineering Depot was a former World War II facility that was in stages of deterioration. As Ted said about his reason for choosing Marion, “Similar to why the Federal government chose Marion before WW II, I came to Marion because Marion had more industrial commerce than most towns of similar size with tremendous rail and highway infrastructure.
By 2003, renovations and improvements costing over $26 million turned the property into a distribution, storage, and manufacturing complex. Through Graham’s efforts, MIC has become a regional and national distribution center and intermodal hub. It has become a two million square foot storage, inventory, distribution, light manufacturing, logistics, and intermodal center, which has expanded from 43 acres to 510 acres. In 2017, MIC was named as one of the top ten Schneider logistics services facilities in the country.
MIC stretches over two miles along State Route 309. It was the only privately-run intermodal terminal in the United States. The multiple industrial buildings are home to fifty companies and house everything from the maker of commercial bathroom fixtures to a distributor of virtually all the Mexican beer consumed in Ohio and surrounding states. Upwards of a thousand people work on this site each day for many different companies such as Schneider National, Bradley Corporation, Marion Intermodal, Boise, HBD, Sika, Owens Corning, Wyandot Snacks, Bucyrus Rail Car, Stegal Construction, Lube Depot, and Schwarz Partners.
MIC has operated four locations in Marion County that store, ship and organize a variety of different products. These locations in Marion include 3007 Harding Hwy E, 1207 Cheney Avenue, 617 W. Center Street, and 1550 Cascade Drive. MIC dealt with storage, distribution & handling, logistics, intermodal services, and automobile handling, helping a variety of different companies expand their operations. This includes the repurposing of the former Marion Power Shovel Plants into a one-of-a-kind industrial leasing center.
This year Ted Graham put the Marion Industrial Center up for sale. He spent a great deal of time searching for a new company to manage and prepare MIC for its new future. There are over 100 employees at MIC, along with the fifty companies using the Center, depending on this transition, which Graham has successfully completed, always thinking about these employees and companies. “Our people are second to none,” Graham shared. “Many have been with me for many years. They exude that Midwest pride and competence that make doing business here a real pleasure.”
On October 30, 2020, it was announced that Jaguar Transport Holdings acquired the Marion Industrial Center. Jaguar plans to change the name of the facility to Marion Industrial Rail Park, to emphasize a focus on the rail infrastructure. Jaguar owns and operates railroads, terminals, and transloading facilities throughout North America and is headquartered in Joplin, Missouri. All of these changes show the investment they plan to make in the business and in the community.
As Ted Graham shared in a quote earlier in the Marion Star this month, “Now with the introduction of Jaguar, the property already has started its growth to the next level through the expansion of the rail, building utilization, and property development.”
Again, it is over the forty- five years of business, helping Marion businesses to grow, quietly operating often behind the scenes, that Marion Industrial Center’s vast impact on the community’s economy has been unmeasurable. They are MarionMade!