09 Nov 2017

Savannah Expansion: Double Rail, Faster Transit

The Port of Savannah’s International Multimodal Connector is a $128 million project that will add 97,000 feet of new track to Garden City Terminal and make it an East Coast gateway for fast rail and e-commerce.  According to Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), the project is set for completion by 2020, three to four years after the first annoucement by GPA Executive Director, Griff Lynch, back in September of 2016.

The goal of the expansion is to link Savannah’s two rail yards with the port, allowing both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway to build longer trains at Garden City’s on-dock terminal and increasing rail lift capacity to 1 million containers annually.  This effort sets the tone for market expansion as new services from the Port of Savannah develop well beyond the Southeast.  Currently, Savannah is the first port of call to 10 trans-Pacific services and the last port of call to 12 Asia-bound sailings.

With the addition of new track, CSX and Norfolk Southern will be able to build 10,000-foot trains at the port, compared to the present 2,000-foot train capacity.  By removing the need to stop at an inland container yard for additional density, some routings will find transit times reduced by up to two days. Dwell times will also be cut from 48 to 24 hours.  These efficiencies allow trains to depart for the final destination directly from the port. The GPA anticipates the expansion to reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 50,000 trips annually by extending Savannah’s intermodal reach into Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky.

It’s crucial to stay informed of new routings, capacity, and efficiencies when planning or adapting your supply chain.  Be sure to evaluate multiple port destinations to place inventory where your consumers need them.  With massive distribution capacity, Savannah’s industrial centers are also a strategic advantage worth exploring.

For shippers who haven’t considered Savannah as an East Coast distribution hub, contact me, Sarah Ducker, at Green Worldwide Shipping for an open conversation about the many advantages of this intermidal gateway.


Sales Executive, Green Worldwide Shipping, LLC.