CSX, Georgia Ports Authority MOU to open new inland port

PORT OF SAVANNAH INLAND OPTION FOR CONTAINERS… AND AUTOS

Is such a short haul intermodal Port of Savannah inland corridor possible? Or just a boutique market?

355 miles? Really?

Being promoted as a MOU. That’s not a legal contract. So how real is this? And can it be profitable given the short distance? Or will it need to be subsidized? Too little info at this time to tell.

New Release highlights:

CSX Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) signed a MOU agreement yesterday to establish an inland port in northwest Georgia.

CUSTOMER? NOT PRESENT.

The Georgia Governor and officials from the ports authority, CSX and Murray County signed the memorandum of agreement.  It sets up the Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth, Ga. From there, It might use trucks or rail to service a hinterland market of Alabama, Tennessee and parts of Kentucky.

It is to be operated by the GPA. This new inland terminal/transfer/storage port facility will be located on 42 acres in Murray County. The site is next to U.S. Highway 411 and provides access to Interstate 75.

But the facility may not become operational until 2018.

Port officials estimate the CSX route will reduce Atlanta’s truck traffic by 40,000 moves annually. That is about 150 containers a day. The calculated highway mileage is about 355 truck miles.

Normal economics see rail intermodal profitable competition ranges versus trucking at longer 600 plus mile distances. In theory this might work with by using on near dockside lower drayage cost within the Savannah port.

What do you think? A good investment? Or too risky for my pension funds?

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/intermodal/news/CSX-Georgia-Ports-Authority-sign-pact-to-open-new-inland-port–45233

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Selected observations from others

The port of Charleston inland terminal at Greer SC is quite different than this Savannah opinion. For one thing it is between Greenville and Spartanburg and down the road from the BMW plant which is a very big deal up there so the terminal was a natural for truck drays from the port and vice versa. The rail angle is to connect the port drays to the Crescent Corridor including base load traffic into and out of the region.

One person recently observed that with reasonable wait times the dray men are making 2 turns per day, very good economics for them.

Some of these short inland operations can work.

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