News Article from Savannah Morning News
As Georgia Ports director Griff Lynch is fond of pointing out, the ports’ success creates a domino effect in the economy both far and wide. The latest example of that is Stature Investments’ announcement that it will build a massive fueling center in Port Wentworth, designed to accommodate both truck traffic and the general growth in the area.
The company will break ground in January on the 16-acre property at Hwy 21 and Grange Road, with completion expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.
Yash Desai, president and COO of the Pooler-based development and investment company, said his organization saw “a dire need for a full-blown truck stop near the ports” and decided to fill that need in a big way.
“This new Port Fuel Center is the first of its kind in the area and has been designed to give the hardworking people who support and work for the Georgia Ports Authority a place to recharge and service their trucks before getting back on the road,” he said.
Specifically developed to support the commercial truck drivers and employees of Georgia Ports Authority, the new 16-acre fuel and maintenance complex will be open 24 hours a day and include 10 dedicated diesel lanes, 10 gasoline fueling points and a compressed natural gas – or CNG – fueling station, as well as a food court, a 10,000-square-foot convenience store with drive-through service, a tire maintenance and repair shop and parking for up to 72 tractor-trailer trucks that eliminates the need to back in.
In a nod to the movement to greater sustainability in trucking and port operations, the Port Fuel
Center is looking at the possibility of adding a liquified natural gas – LNG – offering to its CNG station in support the new truck and heavy-duty equipment technologies designed to significantly lower emissions and noise that is associated with diesel fueled engines.
“Typically, truck stops are not quite this large, so we’re very excited to bring new offerings and a new level of service to the industry,” Desai said Thursday.
Stature Investments is not the only local company looking at growing its presence in the area truck-stop industry.
Enmarket, a chain of area convenience stores owned by Savannah-based Colonial Group Inc., recently purchased Joker Joe’s Truck Stop in Hardeeville, S.C., a move that significantly expands the company’s diesel fuel business.
The 13,000-square-foot facility, which includes nine diesel lanes, will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week while the building and nine-acre property go through a significant remodel.
Enmarket will also rebuild their site in Port Wentworth on Hwy 21 at I-95 with an increased diesel presence as well as the addition of CNG dispensers.
Both sites are developed with Savannah’s growing port business in mind, and their growth strategy includes further development of diesel locations that will serve truckers coming to and from Savannah’s ports, according to Enmarket president Brett Giesick.
State of the (other) port
When it comes to numbers, GPA’s Brunswick terminals tend to take a backseat to Garden City Terminal’s ever-growing container trade. But the port to the south has a lot to crow about in its own right.
Take the month of September, for example.
While containerized trade at Savannah’s docks jumped an impressive 12 percent, the Port of Brunswick experienced a whopping 37.6-percent increase in roll-on/roll-off trade, with 50,515 auto and machinery units coming across its Colonel’s Island docks.
Next week, it will be the “other” port’s turn to shine, as the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce presents the State of the Brunswick Port.
Set for noon Thursday at the Jekyll Island Convention Center, the luncheon program will feature GPA’s Lynch discussing the latest developments at the country’s No. 2 autoport.
“Colonel’s Island is the largest autoport, space-wise, in the country and our goal in the next few years is for it to become the largest U.S. autoport,” Lynch told the Savannah State of the Ports audience last month with a promise to elaborate next week.
Tickets for the State of the Brunswick Port are $48 each or $480 for a table of 10. For more information, go to gaports.com or
contact Danielle Lewis at DLewis@bgicoc.com
Mary Carr Mayle writes about the ports and Savannah’s maritime community in her bi-weekly column in the Savannah Morning News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.