Ports & Terminals

Ports Of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Ranked Busiest Inland Port District

The Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA), the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and the Northern Kentucky Port Authority announced that the Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky has been ranked as the busiest inland port district in the nation, with freight tonnage of 50 million total tons for 2014.

In a list of the nation’s top principal ports, the regional port district ranks No. 13. The 2014 port rankings were recently released in a database by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which collects and regularly publishes waterborne commerce statistical data and reports on commodity tonnages handled within more than 100 defined port areas.

This waterborne commerce data for 2014 reflects the first year that the local port district included a 226.5-mile reach of the Ohio River and a 7-mile reach of the Licking River, in 15 counties. Previously, the Cincinnati Port included just 26 miles and consistently ranked about 51st in Corps’ statistical reporting.

The effort to expand the local port district began in 2014.  The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky port authorities jointly submitted a proposal to the Louisville Engineer District, endorsed by CORBA, and, in time, by all 15 counties located within the new port district; congressional representatives; general assemblies; industry organizations; and governors from both Ohio and Kentucky.

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In February 2015, the Corps issued approval for modification of the Port of Cincinnati’s 26-mile statistical boundary.  The Corps Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center approved the expansion and the name change to “The Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.”

The port district’s 226.5-mile reach is included within counties in Ohio—Scioto, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Hamilton—and Kentucky—Lewis, Mason, Bracken, Pendleton, Campbell, Kenton, Boone, Gallatin, Carroll and Trimble.

Eric Thomas, CORBA executive director, said the port rankings underscore Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s leadership in commercial freight transportation. “This is a tremendous milestone that has created new collaboration among private industry and public transportation and economic development agencies,” he said. “National acknowledgement of our strong port activity is elevating the awareness of our region as a global origin and destination for river commerce.”

Laura Brunner, president and CEO of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, confirmed that the expanded Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky has led to increased engagement about regional transportation and interest in collaborative efforts to attract business and expand prosperity.

“We are in more meetings, giving more presentations and receiving more inquiries about our region’s assets,” she said.  “The momentum created by this partnership to expand the port district has extended to other areas that are moving our region forward.”