Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), Gainesville, Ga., and Norfolk Southern Railroad, Norfolk, Va., announced plans to make Hall County, Ga., the site of the GPA's next inland port.
Handling both import and export containers at the Gainesville terminal, Norfolk Southern will provide service on a direct rail route to and from the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal.
"Savannah is a rapidly growing gateway for global commerce, and Hall County and the surrounding region in Northeast Georgia are key areas of expansion in the state. Manufacturers and distributors around the globe continue to set their sights on this region for development," says Jeff Heller, vice president intermodal and automotive, Norfolk Southern. "Georgia Ports Authority’s inland port at Gainesville, combined with Norfolk Southern's rail service, will provide crucial links in the supply chains of local industries, consumers and the rest of the world, and serve as a catalyst for new opportunities for industrial development. Norfolk Southern is pleased to partner with the GPA on this important project."
Improved access to rail will increase logistics options and overall efficiency, while reducing congestion on Georgia highways. Presently, containers moving by truck travel a 600-mile roundtrip to and from the Port of Savannah. When the new rail yard opens, drivers will be able to make shorter trips from area manufacturers and distribution facilities to the Northeast Georgia site.
"Our new Gainesville location is part of our Network Georgia initiative, which provides new and existing port customers with additional logistics options," says Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. "The new rail hub will allow importers and exporters to move loaded containers to the coast with greater efficiency, and provide a ready source of empty containers for Georgia exports."
The new choice in cargo handling will also transform the local rail market, helping port customers optimize their supply chains.
"Our inland terminals are bringing our ports and producers closer together, providing new economic opportunities," adds Jimmy Allgood, GPA board chairman. "That's good news for Georgians, who will benefit from increased employment options as more companies expand or locate here. Georgia Ports already support more than 440,000 jobs across every corner of the state."
Located in the Gateway Industrial Centre on GA 365, the new 104-acre terminal will provide logistics solutions for customers across Northeast Georgia.
The Hall County inland terminal is scheduled to be complete in 2021. At full build-out, it will have the capacity to handle up to 150,000 containers per year.