Georgia State Governor Nathan Deal, state officials and more than 350 business and civic leaders were on hand on 22nd August to open officially Georgia Ports Authority’s Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Chatsworth, 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 aimed at attracting business from shippers and 3PLs in a four-state region and removing an estimated 50,000 trucks and 15M truck miles from local highways every year.
"The ARP is part of our Network Georgia initiative that brings services from the coast to communities around the state," said 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."
Through intermodal rail service from CSX, the Appalachian Regional Port offers customers across North Georgia, Northeast Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky a more efficient option to move cargo to and from Savannah’s container port.
GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said: "Our job at Georgia’s ports is very simple - to build, operate and maintain the very best infrastructure and services in the maritime industry. The ARP will be another example of this commitment."
Handling import and export containers, CSX will provide service on a direct, 388-mile rail route to and from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal.
"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 worked by three electric rubber-tired gantry cranes from Konecranes. Each has a SWL of 40 tonnes and their combined capacity is 100,000 container lifts per year.
Illya Copeland, executive director of the Murray County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), said the area offers prime locations for manufacturing and logistics development near the inland port. "Murray County features 16 sites offering more than 1,500 acres of developable land, most of which can support multiple developments," Copeland said. "Of the 1,500 acres, 258 acres are rail-front property."
He said the IDA bought a 382-acre tract in January, and is closing on two port-related projects in the park already.
ARP sits on 42 acres adjacent to US 411 and has easy access to I75. Initially at least it is offering generous container storage terms: five days free storage for loaded containers; 10-day free storage for empties.
Each round-trip container moved between the ARP and Garden City offsets 710 truck miles on Georgia’s highways.