Georgia Ports, CSX Offer New Connector Service to and from Savannah

Attention, all regional users of the Port of Savannah. All aboard the Carolina express!

In collaboration with Class I railroad CSX, Savannah’s administrator Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has announced “an exciting logistics solution for existing and new customers across North Carolina” which boasts “daily access and faster service”.

This exciting solution is a direct rail connection between the East Coast port and Rocky Mount, North Carolina via the CSX Carolina Connector (CCX) Intermodal terminal.

Both exporters and importers can make use of this service which will be open for seven-day-a-week rail departures between Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail Terminal and Rocky Mount in Eastern North Carolina.

GPA blushes it can offer users three-day ship-to-shore transit time.

Collaborator CSX echoes the port authority’s sentiments as one spokesperson with the railroad calls this a “transformative partnership” which will serve as a great connector to regional markets.

High on speed and capacity

Naturally, CSX and GPA are cheerleaders for their own collaborative project, however the new connector service does bring an undisputed competitive edge.

CCX is nestled on a mainline rail route, offering high-speed and high-capacity journeys. Ideally, a customer’s freight will be available three days after leaving the port’s Garden City Terminal when hitching a ride along on the connector.

This sharp transit pairs even better as Savannah is typically the first port of call for the shipping lines that route through the Panama Canal.

GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch even asserts: “Containers are ready for pick-up at CCX before they even can be unloaded from a vessel at other ports further up the coast.”

Aside from suave carriages by rail, Savannah’s facilities also expedite this service option. Mason Mega Rail features 85 acres and 24 miles of on-terminal track—the largest intermodal facility within an American port, while on-dock rail service hastens container handling.

Another notch on the belt

The Port of Savannah is no stranger to embracing ambition. Whether it’s through strategic partnerships or overhauling facilities for their capacity conquest, the East Coast hub has flipped international shipping’s market lull into a runway to grow its influence in trade.

Currently, Savannah boasts 37 weekly services, which comfortably links it to more world markets than most U.S. ports. The addition of CCX will now connect niche Appalachian supply chains to overseas commerce.

Port administrator GPA is not stepping off the gas though. In the port authority’s eyes it hopes to one day be toe-to-toe with America’s giants, like the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York.

Final Thoughts

The new connectivity affords more options for regional importers and exporters alike. For the former, this means more international origins to source and route goods from, while the latter—exporters—better access to sell their products.

Notable exports from the region include agricultural goods, mainly cotton and forest products. CCX can be especially enticing towards farmers in Western North Carolina. They can take advantage of shorter trucking routes to Savannah.

Please contact usif you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in cross-border logistics. In addition, stay up to date with weekly headlines from both trucking and rail via our Road Map newsletter.

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