Inland port posts strong 2020 volumes, GPA plans for future expansion


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Business at the Appalachian Regional Port has exceeded volume predictions since its opening in 2018.

Growth at ARP has exceeded expectations, attracted business

When the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) opened in August 2018, residents in Murray County and the surrounding areas hoped it would spur economic development. In its two years of operation, the ARP has succeeded in drawing business to Northwest Georgia, and expansion plans are on the horizon.

The ARP provides an efficient, direct link to the Port of Savannah. Shipping lines’ recognition of the inland port as an official container yard and the routing of more cargo through the facility have contributed to increased volumes.

In the first half of Fiscal Year 2021, the ARP achieved high-level performance with 14,615 rail lifts, a 46.6 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. Recent industrial projects have contributed to these record volumes.

In March 2020, GE Appliances opened its $32 million Logistics Center in Murray County. GE chose the site, which is within two miles of the ARP, specifically for its proximity to the inland terminal and central location relative to the company’s manufacturing sites.

Similarly, in May 2020, Huali Floors, a leading manufacturer of resilient flooring, announced its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County. Huali Floors is creating 315 new jobs and investing more than $27 million in an existing facility.

To accommodate an expected increase in export traffic to the Port of Savannah, GPA will add 22 percent more storage capacity. The $450,000 project, approved by GPA’s board in November 2020, will add 13 stacks, or 28,000 TEUs, to the ARP’s 60-stack inventory.

Georgia Exporters Company (GEC) and CNL Timber began moving log exports through the ARP in December 2020. GEC established a location one and a half miles from the ARP to load logs into containers for export.

Once volumes ramp up, the company anticipates moving up to 28,000 TEUs of export cargo each year.