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Savannah port expanding reach through rail initiativeSavannah port expanding reach through rail initiative

Terminal's annual rail lift capacity increasing to approximately 1 million containers.

Krissa Welshans 1

September 16, 2016

1 Min Read
Savannah port expanding reach through rail initiative

During the annual "Savannah State of the Port" address on Sept. 15, Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) executive director Griff Lynch detailed a new strategic rail initiative, GPA’s Mid-American Arc, which will focus on the growth of intermodal rail, extending the reach of the Port of Savannah, Ga., to capture new markets across the Southeast and Midwestern U.S.


“This enhancement of our rail capacity is a game changer in the market to serve cities ranging in an arc from Atlanta (Ga.) to Memphis (Tenn.), St. Louis (Mo.), Chicago (Ill.) and the Ohio Valley,” Lynch said. “Additional track will allow us to build unit trains 10,000 ft. long, completely on terminal, while reducing rail crossings and impact on the local community.”

Currently, 18% of the containers handled at the Garden City Terminal move on the Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Included in the plan is a $128 million project that will link the Garden City Terminal’s two rail yards, improve efficiency and grow the terminal’s rail lift capacity to approximately 1 million containers each year. The project is funded, in part, by a $44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In his first address as executive director, Lynch also reported on GPA’s performance during fiscal 2016, which ended in June. GPA moved 31 million tons of cargo and 3.6 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) container units in fiscal 2016. It is the second straight year that TEU volumes topped 3.6 million. Despite a decrease of 1.3% in containers for fiscal 2016, combined annual TEU growth for 2015-16 reached 15.4%.

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