Georgia Ports will continue its focus on infrastructure and engineering projects in 2024 as it pushes forward with its sustainability goals and further connects the East Coast gateway to worldwide markets.
It cited, for example, its Blue Ridge Connector project — which will open in 2026 — that will serve as an important connection for the growing distribution area.
"The Blue Ridge Connector is designed to open access to world markets and create a positive economic impact in the Northeast Georgia region by connecting the Port of Savannah's 37 weekly global services with Gainesville, Georgia," said Stacy Watson, GPA's Director of Economic & Industrial Development.
The 104-acre location will link to the Port of Savannah's Mason Mega Rail — the largest on-dock rail facility in North America, with daily rail departures on CSX and Norfolk Southern to inland markets.
The port currently moves approximately 20% of cargo via rail to inland destinations and 80% by truck.
Sustainable logistics solution
In addition to providing importers and exporters with efficient new options to move their cargo, Georgia Ports noted that the Blue Ridge Connector will also deliver sustainable logistics solutions via rail.
It said that by linking to the Port of Savannah via rail, the Blue Ridge Connector will reduce congestion on Georgia highways, eliminating the 600-mile roundtrip drive to and from the coast.
"This means offsetting emissions by as much as 75%, lowering transportation costs for importers and exporters and providing closer drayage for truck drivers who can transport containers in their own markets, closer to home," the port added.
The new inland port will be served by 14 hybrid-electric rubber-tire gantry cranes, which reduce diesel dependency and use white noise audio features to curb noise.