Inland terminal attracts millions in private investment to Georgia

Workers use a rubber tire gantry to load containers onto a train at the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth, Ga., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Improved rail access to the area has led to increased interest from manufacturers and logistics services. The inland terminal will be operated by the Georgia Ports Authority and served by CSX. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has said several major economic developments have recently taken place near the inland Appalachian Regional Port (ARP).

In a statement, the GPA said approximately $574 million of private investments had been made across the state of Georgia due to the efficiency of its internal supply chain and connectivity to global markets.

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Among these are GE Appliances’ new $32 million Southern Logistics Center, which is located two miles from the ARP.

The GPA uses the ARP to provide expedited rail service across the region and connect businesses to international shipping lanes.

According to the GPA, the ARP provides “an efficient, direct link to the Port of Savannah”.

Its traffic has increased as shippers view it as an “official container yard” and hub for routing of cargo throughout the region.

For Fiscal Year 2020, the ARP handled more than three and a half times the cargo it did the year before, moving 27,132 containers, up 19,610 boxes, according to the GPA.

GE said it chose the location specifically for the site’s proximity to the ARP and its central location relative to the company’s manufacturing sites.

The 500,0002 square-foot logistic center supplies nine U.S. factories with more than 2 billion parts and components.

Additionally, GEDIA Automotive Group announced in July it will build an advanced manufacturing facility that will begin production with a focus on parts for electric vehicles.

GEDIA will invest $85 million in this project, delivering 200 jobs to the greater Dalton area in Whitfield County.

“Moving closer to the original equipment manufacturers allows us to serve the American market even better,” said Markus Schaumburg, one of two GEDIA Automotive Group CEOs.

Similarly, Huali Floors, a leading manufacturer of resilient flooring, will establish its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County in an investment worth $27 million.  

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said the investment boost will create 3,629 jobs across the state.

“From advanced manufacturing to software development, jobs at every skill level and in nearly every region of the state were created for hardworking Georgians during July,” said Governor Kemp.

“As we fight to protect the lives and livelihoods of hardworking Georgians in an unprecedented economic climate, this news serves as a great start to the fiscal year.”

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