SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The second set of nine new rail tracks at a multimillion-dollar rail terminal designed for larger cargo trains is now operating in Georgia.
Gov. Brian Kemp cut the ribbon Friday on the Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah. The expansion increases intermodal capacity to and from the port by more than 30%, the governor’s office said.
A first set of nine new rail tracks opened for business last year.
Kemp said the new rail yard is coming online at the perfect time.
“The added rail capacity, along with new container storage on and off terminal, are already serving as important tools to resolve the supply chain issues for Georgia and the nation,” Kemp said. “What we are doing in Georgia is working, and I am proud that we’re helping identify solutions for hardworking Georgians and Americans.”
Efforts to clear the backlog of containers at the port are paying off. Since Sept. 1, the ports authority has seen a 60% reduction in the amount of time containers are on terminal as major retailers have begun moving cargo away at a faster pace, according to the governor's office.
The improved flow of cargo and additional space at the Garden City Terminal is allowing the Port of Savannah to expedite vessel service, reducing the number of ships waiting at anchor by 40%, the governor's office said.
As early as Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority will open its first off-terminal overflow container yard fewer than 5 miles from the port.
“We’re setting up multiple inland locations that will be connected via truck or rail to the Port of Savannah,” said Griff Lynch, the ports authority’s executive director. “We think this will make a huge difference for both importers and exporters as we clear out our yard.”
The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will increase the port’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers of cargo per year, opening Savannah to new markets in the Midwest, including Chicago.