The board of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has approved funding for the expansion of the rail and gate lift capacity of its Garden City Terminal situated at the Port of Savannah, US.

The newly approved $42.27m development will be financed under GPA’s $128m Mason Mega Rail Terminal programme.

It will see the expansion of Port of Savannah’s on-dock rail capacity by 100% and is expected to position Savannah to extend its services to an arc of inland markets from Memphis to Chicago.

The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will be able to double its rail lift capacity to one million containers annually upon completion.

GPA has allocated a total of $90.7m for the expansion project to date. Construction is scheduled to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2020.

"The expansion is expected to allow GPA to handle its future growth more efficiently and will offer an improved access to the Jimmy Deloach Parkway."

The authority has also outlined plans for a $13.2m initiative that will see the expansion of the existing Gate 8 at Garden City Terminal in Savannah.

The expansion is expected to allow GPA to handle its future growth more efficiently and will offer an improved access to the Jimmy Deloach Parkway, which currently provides a direct truck route to Interstate 95.

It will also expand the container terminal’s gate infrastructure by 12.5% for a total of 54 truck lanes.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch said: “In addition to expanding capacity, we will also reduce the impact on our local community.

“The new pre-check lanes will reduce truck congestion and the Mega Rail Terminal will significantly reduce or eliminate rail crossings.”

GPA reported 32% growth in its containerised trade volume last month.

The total tonnage for all terminals has also been increased by 25% from 2.6 million tonnes to 3.2 million tonnes, representing an additional 661,290t of cargo.