Georgia Chamber: Rail and Roads in Georgia

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

Why it Matters

Georgia’s logistics system is crucial in connecting our economy to the nation and the world. With anticipated cargo growth over the next 25 years, significant investment will be critical to continue facilitating safe and efficient movement of both goods and individuals.

The Research

Georgia’s 4,600 miles of rail and 125,000 miles of highways and interstates will need to serve an anticipated 90% increase in annual freight flow by 2050. Currently, statewide congestion costs are estimated at over $15 million, and are expected to increase 100% by 2050, adding costs for Georgians and for Georgia businesses. The increase in freight flow will require additional capacity for trucking and rail, which will contribute to the $84 billion dollar investment needed to keep Georgia’s infrastructure network safe and efficient.

Top Takeaways: Roads 

  • The impact of congestion and costs is increasing. Congestion is concentrated around bottlenecks, and the prime generators of costs in the freight and logistics system. Georgia is home to 9 of the top 100 bottlenecks and 3 of the top 10 worst congestion in the U.S.  
  • Georgia needs additional truck parking. Shortages have been exacerbated by growth in e-commerce.  

  • Improving safety on Georgia’s roadways must be a top priority. The state’s traffic fatality rate is higher than the national average.  

Top Takeaways: Rail 

Rail is an integral part of increasing Georgia’s overall freight capacity.  

  • Georgia railroads carry on average 9 to 10 million tons of freight per route mile. This is 17 times the freight volume of the average mile of roadway.  

  • On average, rail transportation saves industries 23% in shipping costs as compared to trucking 

  • Georgia’s existing rail network is the 7th largest in the U.S. 

Why it Matters to Your Business

All Georgia businesses rely on the capacity of our rail and road systems to effectively move their products and connect to their broader markets. Ensuring the reliability and safety of these systems allows business leaders to manage their growth strategies.  
What You Can Do  

  • Ask your elected leader to invest in long-term solutions for our freight and logistics network. Engage with Get Georgia Moving and our partners at the Georgia Transportation Alliance.  

What Georgia Can Do  

  • Continue to support strategic investments in Georgia’s infrastructure; The Chamber applauds Governor Brian Kemp’s $1.5 billion investment in our infrastructure systems 

  • Explore solutions to increase public and private truck parking.  

  • Mitigate bottlenecks through interchange improvements, utilization of managed lanes, and other improvements to truck network.  

  • Improve speed and capacity on short-line rail which play a critical role in last-mile delivery. 

  • Complete gaps in the rail networks and work to improve efficient transitions from truck to rail. 


For more information regarding Georgia’s rail and road systems, view our 2024 Q1 Report on Infrastructure HERE and see the Get Georgia Moving Again campaign HERE.