South Georgia officials hope tens of millions in federal funding will soon come through to finance an ‘inland port’ project. If so, officials say the return could be jobs and investment for the area of Cordele.
The proposal calls for the majority of $46 million to be used in refurbishing a rail line linking Cordele to Savannah. The rest would help build the port facility in the city.
Companies like Coca-Cola would like a inland port project because cargo could move quicker out of Savannah. Chris Gaffney is president of Coke’s supply division:
“You’re running the roads, you’re dealing with Atlanta traffic if you’re trying to get out of the Port of Savannah at 5 o’clock in the morning and make it up to Atlanta for a delivery. So both from a cost standpoint and a congestion standpoint, there’s an opportunity there.”
Gaffney points to a successful inland port in Virginia as a model.
A Cordele port would take westbound cargo off the trains, and redistribute for trucks heading to the Gulf Coast and beyond.