GPA to use electric cranes at Appalachian Regional Port


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The electric rubber-tired gantry cranes at the Appalachian Regional Port will be similar to those used in Savannah (above). The transition to eRTGs is part of a series of GPA initiatives designed to increase productivity and capacity in environmentally responsible ways. Through efforts such as electrifying ship-to-shore cranes and refrigerated container racks, the Port of Savannah avoids the use of more than 5.4 million gallons of diesel annually. Find print quality images here. (GPA photo)


Savannah, Ga. – May 24, 2017 – The Georgia Ports Authority Board on Monday approved the purchase of three electric rubber-tired gantry cranes for the Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth.

“The eRTGs provide the most efficient method for completing container moves on terminal,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “These machines will lessen the impact of our operations on the surrounding community by running quieter, and by virtually eliminating diesel emissions.”

The ARP, an inland port to be operated by the GPA, will open additional markets across Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. On 42 acres in Northwest Georgia’s Murray County, the site will feature on-terminal rail service from CSX Transportation. The location is adjacent to U.S. 411 and features easy access to Interstate 75. The facility will handle import, export and domestic cargo.

The electric cranes to be used at the inland terminal will reduce fuel consumption by more than 95 percent per crane. The Georgia Ports Authority received a 2016 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for its eRTG program, which virtually eliminates emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter compared to diesel-powered RTGs.

Other environmental benefits come from reduced truck miles. The inland port model allows exports to be trucked for shorter distances and staged at the intermodal yard, where they are loaded onto trains moving hundreds of containers in a single trip.

Also at the GPA board meeting Monday, Lynch reported that construction at the Appalachian Regional Port is more than 10 percent complete. The 40-acre inland terminal in Northwest Georgia is expected to open in summer 2018.

Through improved access to low-cost rail and a ready source of empty containers returned to the inland rail yard, inland terminals serve as magnets for industry, offering important opportunities for economic development.

“There is already excitement in the marketplace over the potential benefits of our inland terminal in Chatsworth,” said John Trent, senior director of strategic operations and safety at the Georgia Ports Authority. “We’re hearing from exporters and distribution project developers who would like to tap into the efficiencies of the ARP, and who we expect to bring jobs to the region.”

The decision to install eRTGs in Chatsworth continues a transition begun at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal. GPA’s initial eRTG project was the first installation of its kind at a port in North America.

The cranes are powered by 480-volt electrical connections and have the capacity to regenerate power back to the electric grid by capturing energy when lowering boxes. The eRTGs were developed through collaboration between GPA engineers and the Finnish company Konecranes. The power system was designed by Conductix-Wampfler.

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, visit, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855.