The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and the Northern Kentucky Port Authority are pleased to announce formal final approval to re-designate the Port of Cincinnati to include a larger geographic region was recently received.

 The United States Army Corps of Engineers has issued approval for modification of the Port of Cincinnati 26-mile statistical boundary. The Army Corps Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center issued the approval of the expansion and the name change to “The Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.” The port district now includes a 226.5 mile reach of the Ohio River, including a 7-mile reach of the Licking River, in 15 counties.

The port authorities petitioned for an expanded port boundary in response to the advocacy of the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA), a river commerce trade association. CORBA members are advocating a larger port region that captures an accurate scope of regional maritime commerce.

The port authorities estimate that The Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky will rank among the top 20 U.S. ports by annual freight tonnage and the 2nd busiest inland U.S. port, as measured by U.S. Army Corps, which publishes the information annually. The Army Corps collects and regularly publishes waterborne commerce statistical data and reports on commodity tonnages handled within more than 100 defined port areas.

The Port of Cincinnati in 2012 was listed 51st in U.S. Army Corps statistical reporting, ranked by total freight tonnage. The port authorities expect The Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky will reflect more than 48 million freight tons handled and rise to the 15th busiest port district and the second-busiest inland river port in the United States. The new port tonnages will officially begin with the calendar year 2014 database and publications.

The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky port authorities submitted the proposal to the U.S. Army Engineer District, Louisville, in April 2014. The proposal included the support of 15 counties total: Ohio (Scioto, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Hamilton) and Kentucky (Lewis, Mason, Bracken, Pendleton, Campbell, Kenton, Boone, Gallatin, Carroll and Trimble), along with the support of congressional representatives, general assemblies, industry organizations and both governors.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich: “The expansion of our shared port again shows that, when Kentucky and Ohio work together, we can win together. Through close collaboration with each other, we can bolster trade and commerce along the Ohio River and create more opportunities to grow jobs throughout Greater Cincinnati.”

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear: “This is another example of cooperation among Kentucky and Ohio. Kentucky continues to be the center of logistics, and our strong ports are a big reason for that success. I applaud this effort to highlight and emphasize such a pivotal stretch of the Ohio River and the Licking River, which are vital to our state’s economy.”

Sen. Rob Portman: “This is great news for Cincinnati and the entire region. Expanding the port’s boundaries will raise its profile and help attract new business at an important time – as volume of international materials and commodities entering the United States continues to grow.”  

Congressman Thomas Massie: “The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers’ approval of the Cincinnati Port re-designation, which will enhance and stimulate river-borne commerce along the Ohio River, is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when Agencies, the Federal government, States and 15 County governments work together to complete a mutually beneficial project. I congratulate CORBA for their advocacy in this endeavor. I’m sure both sides of the Ohio River will benefit from the continued development of this resource as tonnage grows along the Ohio and Licking Rivers from Lewis County downriver to Trimble County in Kentucky.”

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley: “This designation is great news for Cincinnati and our entire region. It should help us boost river commerce and increase our area’s marketing clout. It also will better reflect our region’s true impact as an inland river port.”

Todd Portune, Hamilton County Commissioner: “This is a historically significant achievement. Our region now has a powerful standing among nationally ranked port jurisdictions, which sets us up for an expanded role in river commerce. This port re-designation required exceptional support and collaboration among regional governments. It is a testament to our commitment to attract global business opportunity and investment.”

Eric Thomas, co-founder, Central Ohio River Business Association: “The Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) is deeply grateful to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and to the Northern Kentucky Port Authority for their leadership in bringing to bear the newly designated Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This official designation by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers resulted from an unprecedented, multi-jurisdictional collaboration, which truly defines ‘regionalism.’ It is now up to CORBA, through collaboration with its members and all the jurisdictions up and down the reach of the central Ohio River that make up the new Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, to unleash that marketing potential, and to capitalize on the momentum from this momentous event to the good of the entire region.”

Laura Brunner, Port Authority President & CEO: “Today’s approval is instrumental in elevating the awareness of our region as a global origin and destination for river commerce. It also demonstrates exemplary bi-state collaboration and determination to excel together as a regional economic development powerhouse.”

Roger Peterman, Chairman, Northern Kentucky Port Authority: “Securing this re-designation is quite helpful to our region. We have such superb resources in the Ohio and Licking Rivers, that it behooves us work cooperatively with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and CORBA. We certainly appreciate the Army Corps of Engineers support and assistance to secure this re-designation.”

Kris Knochelmann, Chairman, BE NKY: “Raising the awareness of the significant waterborne commerce advantages of the Ohio River Valley through this re-designation is important to all of the counties in Kentucky and Ohio contiguous to the Ohio and Licking Rivers. We applaud all of the parties that achieved this regional effort.”

Johnna Reeder, president & CEO, REDI Cincinnati: “The expanded port district is a strong play for our region’s economic development efforts. Through the collaborative efforts of the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky port authorities, the new Ports of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky will be the No. 2 inland port region in the United States. This increase in status will create higher visibility for the collective port community and improve our region’s ability to compete in an increasingly global market.”


About the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority was formed in 2000 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. The Port Authority is an economic development force, partnering with the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, focusing on reutilization and redevelopment of property through catalytic investment. For more information, visit

About the Northern Kentucky Port Authority

The Northern Kentucky Port Authority is a public development entity authorized by Kentucky statute to facilitate river-oriented and other development projects in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties governed by an appointed board of directors from these counties.

Contacts: – Roger Peterman, Chairman 859-431-7000 or Dan Tobergte, Secretary Treasurer, 859-344-0040.