Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County nearly doubles shipping volume and more business news

Photo by Dave Flessner / The Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County continues to grow as an inland port, but coronavirus is limiting some imports this month.
Photo by Dave Flessner / The Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County continues to grow as an inland port, but coronavirus is limiting some imports this month.

Appalachian Regional Port boasts new records

The Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Murray County Georgia nearly doubled its shipping volumes in the past couple of months as the Port of Savannah continues to grow into one of the biggest ports on the East Coast of the United States.

The Georgia Port Authority said the inland terminal in Northwest Georgia reported record volumes in August and projects similar results for September. Griff Lynch, executive director for the GPA, said the Port of Savannah is on track to achieve a monthly record for September, expecting to move more than 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units this month.

"We frankly didn't anticipate growth for the months of August and September, but we are gratified by the loyalty of our customers and the dedication of our employees," said Lynch. "Although there is still much work to be done, Savannah's status as the Number 1 export port means it will play a critical role in the nation's economic recovery."

Based on cargo bookings, GPA is projecting more than 5 percent growth compared to September 2019.

The Appalachian port nearly doubled its cargo for the month of August to 6,156 TEUs and is anticipating similar growth in September. GE Appliances recently opened its $32 million Southern Logistics Center in Murray County, just two miles from the inland terminal. Additionally, Huali Floors, a manufacturer of resilient flooring, has announced plans to establish its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County.

FTC blocks coal joint venture

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a proposed joint venture between two of the world's largest private coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Resources, that federal regulators argued would allow the companies to dominate the Powder River Basin coal market.

The Federal Trade Commission "has shown that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed joint venture will substantially impair competition in the market for Southern Powder River Basin coal," U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk ruled.

St. Louis-based Peabody and Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Arch in June 2019 proposed combining the country's two most productive mines, which border each other near Wright, Wyoming. The companies have said the joint venture combining Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine and Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine would "unlock synergies" of $820 million.

The FTC moved to block the deal in February, while the state of Wyoming sided with the companies. Both coal miners are under financial pressure as coal continues to slide as an energy source in the U.S. in favor of cleaner natural gas and renewable energy.

Food Lion pickup added at 2 more stores

Food Lion has added its pick up, curbside service to its stores in Chickamauga and Dalton, Georgia this week.

The "Food Lion To-Go" app or website allows customers to confirm availability and place orders online and receive their food without ever having to enter the store.

"Expanding this convenient service to additional Food Lion stores is more important than ever," said Jim Southard director of operations for the Tennessee South region. "We want to give Southern Tennessee area neighbors the option to shop through the channel they prefer, in-store or online, while still ensuring they have access to the freshest groceries at affordable prices."

Consumers can begin their online orders at or open the Food Lion To-Go app. Food Lion To-Go is available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ashner resigns from CBL board

CBL Properties on Tuesday announced that Michael L. Ashner has resigned from CBL's Board of Directors effective immediately for personal reasons.

"On behalf of management and the board, we would like to thank Michael for his many contributions and commitment to the company during his time on the board," said Stephen Lebovitz, the shopping center operator's chief executive officer. "We wish him the best in his future pursuits."

Chattanooga-based CBL owns and manages a national portfolio comprised of 108 properties totaling 68.2 million square feet across 26 states, including Hamilton Place and Northgate malls in Chattanooga.

Disney lays off 28,000 workers

Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to nonunion hourly workers, Disney officials said.

Disney's parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.

In a letter to employees, Josh DÁmaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said his management team had worked hard to try to avoid layoffs. They had cut expenses, suspended projects and modified operations but it wasn't enough given limits on the number of people allowed into the park because of social distancing restrictions and other pandemic-related measures, he said.

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