Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia Ports Authority, Murray County and CSX Transportation signed a Memorandum of Agreement this week, establishing the Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth, Georgia, according to a GPA statement.
Operated by the Georgia Ports Authority, the Appalachian Regional Port will deliver goods more efficiently to the GPA's Garden City Terminal, the second busiest container port on the East Coast after New York-New Jersey.
The new inland port will sit on 42 acres in Northwest Georgia's Murray County and feature on-terminal rail. The site is adjacent to U.S. 411 and features easy access to Interstate 75. The facility will handle import, export and domestic cargo, and its service area will include North Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and parts of Kentucky.
Port officials estimate the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 40,000 moves annually, creating a new intermodal option to and from the
Port of Savannah.
"This new inland port is located in an industrial belt, which includes the production and export of carpet and flooring, automobiles and tires," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "The Appalachian Regional Port will make those commodities more competitive in the global market by saving port customers money on inland transit costs. Moving more containers to rail will also reduce carbon emissions."
The Appalachian Regional Port will be Georgia's second facility of this kind. The Cordele Inland Port handles cotton, clay, lumber and other agribusiness exports for customers in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
The Appalachian Regional Port will open by 2018 with an annual capacity of 50,000 containers. A 10-year development plan will then double that capacity.