- Georgia Ports Authority has received approval to expand capacity with an inland rail hub in Gainesville, Georgia, according to a press release.
- Once built, the Northeast Georgia Inland Port will be able to handle 60,000 containers per year and help alleviate a round-trip truck route of 602 miles on Georgia highways. The cost of the project is $170 million, according to the Gainesville Times.
- Construction for the terminal is slated to start January 2024 and wrap up by July 2026, provided a grant from the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration is finalized.
Georgia ports are experiencing steady growth and preparing for even more cargo volumes — this time with a new rail terminal.
The port authority said last month was the third busiest April in history, only behind 2021 and 2022 figures, as it handled 12% more TEUs than it had during April 2019, according to the press release. The Port of Savannah is one of several East Coast gateways that grew rapidly during the pandemic, as shippers fled disruption and sought reliability and speed from ports.
The port authority touted the decrease in truck traffic expected from the inland terminal.
“Cargo moving to the region by rail will reduce truck use from seven hours to less than 30 minutes," Griffith Lynch, executive director at Georgia Ports Authority said in a statement.
The port authority is planning various rail hubs around the state to facilitate its growth, which includes the Northeast Georgia Inland Port and at least two other planned facilities. Its plan, called Network Georgia, would provide direct paths from the Port of Savannah to various other trade lanes and allow cargo to be staged closer to population centers.
Meanwhile, the port’s completion of the Mason Mega Rail project at the Port of Savannah has already added 1 million containers per year of rail capacity.
“Expansion projects spanning our berths, terminal space and rail infrastructure are delivering the capacity we need to handle our projected growth for decades to come,” Lynch said.