Watch Now

Georgia gains inland port

The Appalachian Regional Port provides an alternative to an all-truck dray to and from the Port of Savannah.

   The Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) officially opened in northwest Georgia’s Murray County on Wednesday.
   The inland port is operated by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) and served by Class I railway CSX, which provides a direct, 388-mile route to and from the deepwater Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal.
   ARP provides an alternative to an all-truck dray to and from the Port of Savannah for target markets in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, GPA explained, adding the new facility will remove an estimated 50,000 trucks and 15 million truck miles from local highways each year.
   Situated on 42 acres, ARP features one inbound gate with a kiosk and one outbound gate with a kiosk and has a storage capacity for 2,365 TEUs. ARP offers five days of free storage for loaded containers and 10 days of free storage for empties.
   In addition, ARP is equipped with three working tracks totaling 6,000 feet, as well as a total of three eRTG cranes, which each have a lift capacity of more than 40 tons.
   The ARP’s terminal gate hours for the receipt and pickup of containers are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, although gates close Wednesdays at 5 p.m.
   GPA said that per U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s regulations, import loaded containers can depart Savannah and move in-bond to ARP under appropriate carrier’s bond. In-bond shipments can be cleared at a CBP port of entry, bonded warehouse or Foreign-Trade Zone designated facility, but in-bond shipments will not be cleared by CBP at ARP.
   ARP is strategically located in an industrial belt, near the production and export of carpet, flooring, automobiles and tires, and has access to Interstate 75 and U.S. 411. Murray County is a Tier 1 area, meaning that special incentives are available to job creators that locate there.
   Komatsu was the first customer at APR, moving four containers on Wednesday, a GPA spokesperson told American Shipper.
   “The GPA is currently working out the logistics for a list of two dozen importers and more than a dozen exporters who have expressed interest in using the ARP,” the spokesperson said.
   Several shippers already have said ARP will provide them with shorter transit times and cost savings.
   Steve Bevan, director of transportation and logistics at Mohawk Flooring, said, “We plan on using it as a cost-savings initiative for Mohawk. 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.”
   Claire Getty, chief financial officer at Thompson Appalachian Hardwoods, said, “With the Appalachian Regional Port, we will be able to source the empty containers. Also, it’s the same distance from us by truck, but it is closer to the Port of Savannah than Nashville. Cutting that much rail off and keeping the same drayage, we see it as a win. We see it as an opportunity to move as much as we can through the Appalachian Regional Port.”
   Kevin McKine, vice president of sales and marketing at The Atlas Group, said, “I think it will shorten the time it takes to get the container in the door, opening it up and start selling it.”
   “The GPA intends to develop inland terminals around the state, with locations prioritized according to cargo demand and economic development opportunity,” the GPA spokesperson said.
   Cordele Inland Port, through Cordele Intermodal Services, a privately owned logistics provider that specializes in container handling and over-the-road trucking, is Georgia’s first inland port. Situated in south central Georgia, Cordele Inland Port offers a direct, 200-mile rail route to the Garden City Terminal. 
   American Shipper provided in-depth coverage of the emergence of inland ports in April. The trend of increasingly larger ships has resulted in more cargo being offloaded at ports that cannot handle the volume. Inland ports can help stagger the flow of cargo. Additionally, rail options provided by inland ports are increasingly desirable with the capacity crunch in the trucking industry.
   South Carolina Ports Authority opened Inland Port Dillon in April after opening Inland Port Greer in 2013. Both inland ports connect to the Port of Charleston via rail.
   In the heartland, Decatur, Ill.’s Midwest Inland Port has provided shippers an option to bypass the congested Chicago region. Decatur’s Midwest Inland Port features an intermodal ramp; direct access to Class I railroads CSX, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern; toll-free access to Interstates 72, 55, 74 and 57 and U.S. Highway 51; and an airport.
   Although the railroads and airport have been operating in Decatur a long time, grain producer and shipper ADM built an intermodal ramp there five years ago and opened it to other companies’ freight in 2015, Nicole Bateman, executive director of the Midwest Inland Port, previously told American Shipper.

Future of Supply Chain


The greatest minds in the transportation, logistics and supply chain industries will share insights, predict future trends and showcase emerging technology the FreightWaves way–with engaging discussions, rapid-fire demos, interactive sponsor kiosks and more.