Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and more than 350 state and local officials celebrated the opening Aug. 22 of the new Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia.
“The Appalachian Regional Port is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia’s superior port operations to new markets,” Deal said. “It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S.”
Located in Murray County, the new facility is intended to provide logistics solutions for customers in a four-state region and remove an estimated 50,000 trucks from local highways annually, officials said.
“The ARP is part of our Network Georgia initiative that brings services from the coast to communities around the state,” said Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The new inland terminal will provide the same, superior quality services our customers have come to rely on: congestion-free, easy access, expedited handling and reliability.”
With intermodal rail service provided by CSX, the Appalachian Regional Port offers customers in Georgia, Northeast Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky an efficient option to move cargo to and from Savannah’s container port, GPA said.
GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood added building additional logistics assets helps to carry out the authority’s mission.
“Our job at Georgia’s ports is very simple – to build, operate and maintain the very best infrastructure and services in the maritime industry. And, the ARP will be another example of this commitment,” Allgood said. “We appreciate the governor’s support for the ARP and other projects that have helped to make our ports what they are today. Gov. Deal knows what it takes to make Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation to do business.”
CSX is set to handle import and export containers and will provide service on a direct, 388-mile rail route to and from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal, officials said.
“CSX is proud to serve regional customers through the ARP, which will unlock new economic opportunities while lowering shipping costs,” said Dean Piacente, vice president of CSX intermodal sales and marketing. “We applaud the vision and leadership of Governor Deal and the Georgia Ports Authority, as they drive Georgia forward in ways that will benefit both businesses and consumers.”
The new rail terminal will be operated by three electric rubber-tired gantry cranes, each of which is equipped with a lift capacity greater than 40 tons and which, combined, can handle 100,000 container lifts annually.
“The Appalachian Regional Port is a great example of how the GPA is investing in rural Georgia, and not forgetting how that can play into the growing economic strength of the state,” Deal added.