Inland Port Expected to Benefit Dalton State Grads


The Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County is expected to make a huge impact on the local economy when it opens next month. It should also benefit Dalton State’s students and graduates, said Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of the C. Lamar and Ann Wright School of Business.

The Wright School of Business co-sponsored an informational session and demonstration at the inland port on Highway 411 in northern Murray County this week.

Commercial trucks will drop off and pick up goods at the port, which is connected to the Port of Savannah by CSX railway. The inland port is managed by the Georgia Ports Authority.

“Dalton State is involved in the port because it is an important regional activity and of great interest to the general business community in our area,” Helms said. “For the WSOB, the port means more interest in logistics and supply chain management in our area.”

Logistics and supply chain management is the most recent bachelor’s degree to be added by the Wright School of Business. Experts expect to need more educated workers who have specialized in that field in the next few years as a direct result of the inland port, and as online retail companies such as Amazon continue to expand.

Students in logistics and supply chain management aren’t the only ones expected to benefit from the port. Already three companies are coming to Murray County because of the port, said Murray County Commissioner Greg Hogan. The inland port reports several companies interested in the area now due to the ease of receiving and transporting products.

The growth is expected to bring more regional jobs in other business disciplines to the area as well, including management, marketing, management information systems, finance, and accounting, Helms said.

“With the port serving Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, we should see more jobs being created for our graduates,” she said. “The growth of cost-effective transportation means more manufacturers, distributors, and warehousing operations will locate in our area. We've seen similar growth at the other ports throughout the state of Georgia. We are in one of the fastest -growing regions in the country, and this means there will be more jobs for our graduates. We support the Appalachian Regional Port and the growth opportunities for our area.”