NASDA Winter Policy: What Steps are Being Taken to Improve the Supply Chain

Agricultural commodities make up 60% of the exports leaving the Port of Savannah.

Georgia Ports Authority Chief Administrative Officer, James McCurry, says they have added over 500 new employees over the past year and a half to avoid labor shortages and to keep goods moving.

“We don’t have an employment problem, but obviously the supply chain does and, in some cases, people that we have hired have come from a different piece and supply chain and that’s, you know, just kind of shifting the burden a little bit. We don’t take pride in that being the case. But unfortunately, we’ve been able to be competitive with what we can offer to employees to entice them to join the team.”

He says they are also on track to finish a rail expansion project that will allow them to double capacity to one million containers a year.

“The capacity at Savannah to build full unit trains we can actually build a four unit trains per terminal a day. That’s huge. And then just expanding the storage capacity of the facility itself from stacking loaded into containers.”

BNSF General Director of Agriculture Jim Titsworth says they have announced $3.4 billion dollars to make infrastructure investments on their 30,000 miles of rail this year.

“We have an active bridge program that is reinvesting in the most critical infrastructure items. We keep the railroad and will shape and that is all for the safety of our employees. We operate for the efficiency of our customers. So, we do that as just part of turning the lights on every day.”

Other infrastructure funding is coming from the federal government with implementation made at the state or local level.

Alice Ancona from the Miami World Trade Center says its critical for industry to be represented on those local planning committees.

“All of these things impact freight planning that happened at a local level that require local participation. And if you’re not participating, then they have no idea what your needs are. They have no idea what your choke points are. Many of these folks have never been on a port. You know, that was another thing. We took them to court and that’s important for them to visit courts. They haven’t visited farms in Florida and took them to visit some ag facility so they got to see just how troubled man how they come out because it’s really trucks. Log of everything that goes is trucks.”

She also noted the importance of having local zoning and ordinances that support truck parking for long haul drivers.

For interviews with Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of Ag from around the nation, click HERE!


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