I am pleased to announce an important new initiative that we believe will provide a better value proposition to port customers.
At the Georgia Ports Authority, we are expanding our intermodal rail services to better accommodate our expanding customer base, with a new effort we call the Mid-American Arc.
As the westernmost major hub port on the U.S. East Coast,hosting more weekly vessel calls than any port in the South Atlantic region, Savannah is perfectly situated to expand its services to Mid-American Arc cities, ranging from Atlanta to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago and the Ohio Valley.
The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the region’s busiest intermodal gateway, handling 38 trains per week of import and export cargo.
To keep ahead of our growth curve, we are adding a major intermodal expansion. Through a $44 million grant awarded to GPA by the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with $84 million in local matching funds, we have started a project to expand our two on-terminal rail yards.
Set for completion in 2020, the project will double rail capacity at Garden City Terminal, from 500,000 rail container lifts to 1 million lifts per year.
Served by Class I rail providers CSX and Norfolk Southern, Savannah already has one of the nation’s most extensive on-dock rail infrastructures. Through this improvement, we will create a state-of-the-art facility,unique on the U.S. East Coast.
Another one-of-a-kind facility is our Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick. We’re in the process of doubling our auto processing capacity at Colonel’s Island, with a long-term plan to add 540 acres of vehicle space on the island’s south side. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has already occupied 20 of those additional acres, while International Auto Processing has leased another 49. A separate 30-acre parcel should come online this month.
Serving the U.S. Southeast – the nation’s fastest growing demographic region, the Port of Brunswick is America’s fastest growing port for automobile imports and exports. Currently No. 2 in the U.S., we’ve got our eye on becoming the busiest autoport in the nation.
Rail also plays an important role for the autoport in Brunswick. The GPA has completed a major expansion at Anguilla Junction, providing greater flexibility and storage capacity.
It’s another way the Georgia Ports Authority, along with our state and private sector partners are forging a smarter, faster logistics network.