Deal announces Kia, rail provider partnership


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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia has partnered with Cordele Intermodal Services to move cargo by rail from the Port of Savannah to the CIS container yard in Cordele.  Above, Gov. Deal, center left, is joined by CIS President Jonathan Lafevers, Georgia Rep. Buddy Harden, KMMG Chief Administrative Officer Stuart C. Countess, Georgia Ports Authority Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood, and GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch at the rail yard, with finished vehicles on display. The arrangement with CIS saves transit costs for Kia Motors, while cutting millions of truck miles from state highways each year. Find print quality images here . (Georgia Ports Authority Photo/Stephen B. Morton)



For immediate release                                                                                             Office of Communications
Aug 3, 2016                                                                                                                (404) 651-7774

Deal announces Kia, rail provider partnership
Cordele Intermodal Services to handle Kia parts imported via GPA

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Cordele Intermodal Services (CIS), Georgia’s first inland terminal, will partner with Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), to handle up to 30,000 TEU containers per year to supply the Kia manufacturing plant in West Point. This partnership will save more than 6 million truck miles each year.


“Kia has been a remarkably successful economic driver for West Point and Georgia’s inland terminals provide a new efficient way for companies to transport goods throughout the state,” said Deal. “This partnership and use of the inland port will reduce congestion on our highways and lower transportation costs, using new infrastructure to benefit both companies and the West Point area. The inland rail yards enable Georgia companies to grow to meet the demands of the Southeastern states, while bolstering economic development across the state.”


With this new partnership, KMMG will move auto parts via rail from the Port of Savannah to the inland terminal in Cordele and then to West Point via motor carrier.


“Working with our state partners, as well as our suppliers, in this way not only benefits KMMG, but also increases efficiency, which adds value to the end product, ultimately benefiting our customers,” said Stuart C. Countess, chief administrative officer of KMMG. “We see this as another example of our company philosophy of continuous improvement.”


KMMG currently employs more than 3,000 team members at the West Point location. Together with local suppliers, Kia has created more than 15,000 jobs in the area. Following a $100 million expansion project in 2011, the plant has a production capacity of 360,000 vehicles per year.


“There is a direct cost savings to the importer,” said CIS President Jonathan Lafevers. “Furthermore, storage and handling fees are reduced or completely eliminated by utilizing Cordele as the origin and destination location for the containers.”


On July 22, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board of Directors, in conjunction with the state of Georgia, approved $19.7 million to fund the state’s second inland terminal – the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County.


“Cargo can be loaded onto trains, moving hundreds of containers in a single trip, staged at an intermodal yard, then trucked for much shorter distances,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This model drives out waste and redundancy in the supply chain, delivering greater efficiency for customers and environmental benefits through reduced diesel consumption.”


Previously, the automaker would have trucked containers from Savannah to West Point. This agreement allows trucks carrying Kia parts to make much shorter hauls between Cordele and West Point.


Cordele Inland Terminal, served by short line rail providers, currently operates on 40 acres with an option to expand on additional available land nearby. Service areas include southwest Georgia, southern Alabama and western Florida. Cordele was recently designated as an official container yard by shipping lines Maersk, NYK, CMA-CGM, MSC and ZIM which will save time and transportation costs for port customers.


Alyssa Botts


John Vaughan


Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015.

For more information, contact GPA’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855. Visit the GPA web site at