GPA provides insights into Blue Ridge Connector project

GPA provides insights into Blue Ridge Connector project plans

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has provided an update to representatives from neighbouring counties and consumers regarding the Blue Ridge Connector’s future expansion.

The Blue Ridge Connector aims to help firms compete in a competitive supply chain in the rising Northeast Georgia regional market, and is slated to be a crucial link in expanding distribution networks.

Economic development officials from more than a dozen surrounding Georgia counties, as well as Lanier Technical College and Georgia Department of Economic Development executives, recently attended a presentation to learn more about the Blue Ridge Connector’s influence on local commerce.

READ: GPA nears 6 million TEU for 2022

Stacy Watson, GPA’s Director of Economic & Industrial Development, said: “The Blue Ridge Connector is designed to open access to world markets and create a positive economic impact in the Northeast Georgia region by connecting the Port of Savannah’s 37 weekly global services with Gainesville, Georgia.

“Every effort has been made to improve the supply chain experience, enable future growth while being sensitive to surrounding communities.”

The 104-acre property will connect to the Port of Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail, North America’s biggest on-dock rail facility with daily CSX and Norfolk Southern departures to interior markets.

The port now transports 20 per cent of goods by rail to inland destinations and 80 per cent by truck.

According to GPA, the Blue Ridge Connector, which connects to the Port of Savannah via rail, will relieve traffic congestion on Georgia roadways and eliminate the 600-mile roundtrip commute to and from the coast.

This means offsetting emissions by as much as 75 per cent, lowering transportation costs for importers and exporters and providing closer drayage for truck drivers who can transport containers in their own markets, closer to home.

READ: Georgia Ports splashes $127 million on expanding terminal capacity

GPA noted that the new inland port will be served by 14 hybrid-electric Rubber-Tyre Gantry (RTG) cranes which reduce diesel dependency and use white noise audio features to curb noise. 

Equally important, efficient LED lighting will direct light downward within the facility, minimizing light pollution in nearby communities while reducing energy consumption.

Taylor Worley of Georgia Ports Market Research and Economic Development, added: “Our analysis of this market with customers and the market growth potential is lining up well. We’re excited about creating a new supply chain that makes our customers compete stronger, more sustainable and enable their long-term growth plans year-over-year (YoY).”

In December 2023, GPA outlined its recent port enhancements at the 2023 Georgia Transportation Summit.

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