• Powell Slaughter

Georgia Ports Authority approves funding for expansion

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Georgia Ports Authority has approved $42.3 million for a project to expand rail and gate expansion that will significantly increase capacity at GPA’s Garden City Terminal.

The move, part of the $128 Mega Rail Terminal project, comes on the heels of record-breaking 32% growth in containerized trade for October at the Port of Savannah.

“A strong Southeast U.S. economy, on-terminal expansion and investment by private logistics firms throughout the region have resulted in phenomenal growth for Georgia,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

In addition to record container volumes, Lynch reported to the Board that total tonnage for all terminals climbed by 25%, from 2.6 million to 3.2 million tons, for an additional 661,290 tons of cargo.

The Mega Rail Terminal project will not only expand the Port of Savannah’s on-dock rail capacity by 100%, but also will position Savannah to rapidly increase service to an arc of inland markets from Memphis to Chicago. A total of $90.7 million has been allocated to the project thus far. Construction is slated to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2020.

The board also approved a $13.2 million project to expand the existing Gate 8 at Garden City Terminal. The addition will help the GPA absorb future growth and offer a better link to the Jimmy Deloach Parkway, which provides a direct truck route to Interstate 95. The project will expand the terminal's gate infrastructure by 12.5% for a total of 54 truck lanes.

“In addition to expanding capacity, we will also reduce the impact on our local community,” Lynch said. “The new pre-check lanes will reduce truck congestion, and the Mega Rail Terminal will significantly reduce or eliminate rail crossings.”

In Brunswick, Lynch said, Colonel's Island Terminal handled 56,492 auto and machinery units last month, for growth of 21% or 9,811 units.

Powell SlaughterPowell Slaughter | Senior Editor

I'm Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. While I cover occasional, home entertainment and home office here, a major responsibility is expanding our attention to the logistics side of the industry. I hope my articles will encourage a dialogue with retailers, vendors, third-party logistics specialists and carriers. I’d love to hear your ideas, concerns and suggestions for smoother flow of material and goods.

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