A Southwest Georgia freight hauling company is getting a boost this afternoon from the Georgia Ports Authority.
State officials believe they'll also benefit from an agreement with Cordele Intermodal Services.
CIS moves cargo through the inland Port of Cordele.
That's the Southwest Georgia shipping terminal linked to Savannah by rail.
The more the company hauls freight through Cordele, the busier the port is here on the coast.
Under the deal, the state helps CIS market its services.
Georgia Ports Authority Director Curtis Foltz says that will boost shipping in the state.
"I think it just really sets Georgia apart from many of our other states in terms of its logistics network," says Foltz. "Whether it's rail or highway and its port system and its air freight systems."
The public-private inland Port of Cordele, south of Macon, opened three years ago.
Officials credit it with helping land business in Southwest Georgia and getting freight to move through Savannah instead of rival ports in Alabama and Florida.
"The GPA is one of our state's strongest job creators, supporting more than 352,000 jobs across Georgia," said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. "By more efficiently connecting businesses in this region to the global marketplace through our deepwater ports, the Cordele Inland Port is now part of that broader effort, supporting jobs and future development."
CIS President Jonathan Lafevers says GPA has agreed to take on some new responsibilities for the company.
"The early framework of this document really is one where it starts to spell out some of the efforts that will be coordinated between the two entities," says Lafevers. "Mainly in the arena of marketing and promotion."
Governor Nathan Deal signed the agreement in Cordele on Wednesday.