Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway - creating a globally-known logistics center

Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway - creating a globally-known logistics center Image

This past Sunday (11/30), the Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway Organization (ITGO) was highlighted in the Buffalo News in the group's first public outreach since becoming its own organization earlier this year. ITGO, as the article states, is a volunteer-driven organization created to forward the logistics and trade advantages the Buffalo Niagara region has to offer - in particular, our geographic location in the middle of the largest U.S. and Canadian markets. As president and CEO of Welke Customs Brokers USA, I am proud to sit on the Board of ITGO and chair its CanAm and International Trade Committee.

While the article is about ITGO's official formation, which happened in June, in truth over 40 stakeholders representing the private, public and academic sectors have been working for the past four years to make it a reality. The common goal that all of us have centered around is growing the logistics industry in Western New York by (1) highlighting globally our regional capabilities; (2) strengthening our logistics infrastructure; and (3) building and maintaining key relationships in international trade. We believe that if we are successful in accomplishing these things, the Buffalo Niagara region will become a globally-known center for international trade.

With ITGO now public, the group's volunteers are engaged in a number of immediate strategic initiatives that are intended to bring more stakeholders to the table, including strengthening its relationship with the Port of New York and New Jersey, and aggressive outreach to representatives from the logistics industry in Canada. If you are interested in getting involved, or would like more information on ITGO, please feel free to e-mail me.

- Damon Piatek

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