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July 19, 2016

Logistics news: $44MM federal grant to Port of Savannah

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The recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal is creating new opportunity and future mega shipments through the Port of Savannah.  News reports of the opening indicate that giant ships moving through the Canal will have the capacity to carry more than three times their current container load.  Some of the excess freight will move through Georgia from the ports to cargo and distribution centers in Atlanta and on to customers beyond our borders.

This new scenario highlights the significance of a $44 million grant award to GPA by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  In a press release, GPA announced a significant portion of the funding from the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program will be dedicated to the Port of Savannah International Multi-modal Connector.  The project is expected to take five years to complete.

"As the nation's fourth busiest container port, Savannah's continued rail expansion is a key component to freight mobility in this country. This transformative project will not only increase rail capacity and velocity at the Garden City Container Terminal, but will also provide substantial benefits to surrounding communities by improving public safety, reducing environmental impacts and avoiding commuter traffic." GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch

GPA says 18 percent of the containers handled at Garden City Terminal moves on Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX. The Port of Savannah handled 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in 2015.

"Investments such as this and the related inland rail facilities throughout Georgia will help shift more containers from truck to rail, allowing greater efficiency and reduced highway congestion." GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood