The Loadstar—The combination of its geographical location, a growing economy drawing in new talent and businesses, a well-developed logistics infrastructure, the presence of a host of logistics providers of all sizes and a burgeoning culture of innovation, backed by a state government with a coherent strategic plan, makes Georgia a powerful contender to attract flows of cargo well beyond its state borders.
In August, Georgia governor Nathan Deal and other state officials were present at the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port, an intermodal facility equipped to handle 100,000 containers a year.
It is linked by rail giant CSX to the port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal, 388 miles away and, according to the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) which built the facility, the link will remove an estimated 50,000 trucks from local highways every year.
It also strengthens the port’s reach to customers in northern Georgia as well as Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, and it is intended to draw business and industry to the south-east. “It enables the port to reach further into the heartland,” says Craig Camuso, regional vice-president, state government affairs at CSX. “It feeds freight into the port and expands its Mid-America arc,” he added, referring to the port’s ambition to be a gateway for a radius as far as the Mississippi.
“The port of Savannah is poised to capture new rail cargo across the state, the south-east and well into the American Midwest,” adds GPA executive director Griff Lynch. Atlanta-based American Global Logistics has pursued a similar trajectory since its inception in 2007, expanding its footprint beyond the state border. “Our business has grown from regional to truly international operations,” says chairman and CEO Jon Slangerup, previously CEO of the port of Long Beach.