Accepting the Moving the Needle Award were Ryan MacDonald, manager of strategic operations and planning at the Georgia Ports Authority, Jerald Mitchell, Director of Economic Development at The Atlanta Beltline, Inc., Wesley Barrell, terminal manager at GPA, and Michael Thomas of Moffatt & Nichol.
The Georgia Ports Authority received the Moving the Needle Award for its work at the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) on Oct. 4 at the 2017 Atlanta E3 Awards. The award is presented by the Metro Atlanta Chamber to companies or projects that reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, increase fleet efficiency or achieve other transportation benefits for Metro Atlanta.
In an effort to stay ahead of demand and accommodate future needs, the Georgia Ports Authority will open a new inland terminal in 2018 in Murray County (Chatsworth). The GPA estimates the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by up to 50,000 moves annually. A 10-year development plan will double that capacity. Because these trips would otherwise go through Atlanta, the ARP will have direct impact on city traffic.
Each container moved by rail to and from the ARP will offset 355 truck miles on Georgia highways, resulting in a reduction of approximately 8 million miles in the first year. This will also yield important benefits to air quality and highway maintenance.
This inland port model means containers can be trucked for shorter distances and staged at the intermodal yard, where they are loaded onto trains moving hundreds of containers in a single trip. These inland rail yards extend GPA's reach and capacity to meet growing demands in the Southeast and beyond, providing a vital gateway for U.S. manufacturers to global markets.