The Georgia Ports Authority has completed and is now operating the second set of nine new rail tracks for a total of 18 tracks at its Mason Mega Rail Terminal, Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday.
The expansion immediately increases intermodal capacity to and from the Port of Savannah by more than 30 percent.
“The massive new Mason Mega Rail yard is coming online at the perfect time to help address the influx of cargo crossing the docks at the Port of Savannah,” Kemp said. “The added rail capacity, along with new container storage on and off terminals, are already serving as important tools to resolve the supply chain issues for Georgia and the nation. What we are doing in Georgia is working, and I am proud that we’re helping identify solutions for hardworking Georgians and Americans.”
GPA has seen a 60 percent reduction since Sept. 1 in the amount of time containers are on terminal, as major retailers have begun moving cargo off-terminal at a faster pace. The improved flow of cargo and additional space at Garden City Terminal has allowed the Port of Savannah to expedite vessel service, reducing the number of ships waiting at anchor by 40 percent.
In addition, GPA and its two Class I rail providers are working in tandem to open temporary container yards to expedite cargo flow at the Port of Savannah.
“We’re setting up multiple inland locations that will be connected via truck or rail to the Port of Savannah,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We’re working with both CSX and Norfolk Southern to provide inland and off-dock locations to move these long-dwell imports off the facility. We think this will make a huge difference for both importers and exporters as we clear out our yard.”
GPA’s South Atlantic Supply Chain Relief Program is funded in part by reallocated federal dollars. The effort will begin with Norfolk Southern’s Dillard Yard in Garden City and the CSX Hulsey Yard, in Southeast Atlanta.
“This is the relief we needed in order to regain terminal efficiency and speed up vessel service,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “By reclaiming this space on terminal, we can begin to reduce the backlog of vessels at anchor. This groundbreaking partnership between cargo owners and logistics providers should serve as a model for the entire nation as we work to address supply chain challenges.”