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CHATSWORTH, GA: August 22, 2018. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has opened an ‘Appalachian Regional Port’ (ARP) served by CSX Railroad to provide logistics solutions for customers across North Georgia, Northeast Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The inland facility is expected to cut costs and CO2 emissions by removing 50,000 trucks and 15 million truck miles from local highways every year.

“The [port] is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia’s superior port operations to new markets,” commented state governor Nathan Deal. “It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S.”

Appalachian Regional PortHandling both import and export containers, CSX will provide a direct, 388-mile rail route to and from the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal. The ARPl will operate three electric gantry cranes to handle up to 100,000 container lifts per year.

Steve Bevan, director of Transportation and Logistics for Georgia-based manufacturer Mohawk Flooring commented: “We plan on using it as a cost-savings initiative. Instead of trucking from Savannah to North Georgia, we’ll pick up the containers in Chatsworth at the ARP, and truck it from there to our locations. We’re going to use it as much as we can. It’s a significant cost savings for us.”

Earlier this month the Port of Savannah reported its second-busiest month on record in July with the handling of 378,767 TEUs, a 12.7 percent increase over the same month last year.

“July was an incredible start to our fiscal year, with double-digit growth across our container, breakbulk and dry bulk operations,” said GPA executive director Griff Lynch.

For its fiscal year ending in June, rail cargo increased 16 percent, or some 60,000 containers, for a total of 435,000 intermodal rail lifts. Last month continued the trend with the busiest month on record at 41,070 container moves, an increase of 20.8 percent year-on-year.

“Greater capacity, via cost-effective 14,000-TEU vessels transiting the Panama Canal, makes Savannah an even more competitive option to serve the Eastern US,” said Lynch. “This, in part, is driving an increase in rail moves to markets such as Memphis and Nashville.”

Total GPA tonnage in July grew 10.5 percent, or nearly 300,000 tons, for a total of 3.15 million tons handled.

Pictured: Georgia governor Nathan Deal, center with scissors, during the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth, Georgia. The inland terminal will be operated by the Georgia Ports Authority and served by CSX.

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