Learn all About the CIS story!
The concept for a rail centric inland port was introduced by Heart of Georgia Railroad co-owners, Brad Lafevers and Duane Broxterman as a method to increase traffic over their railroad. Early studies showed a strong potential for economic viability and extensive lobbying and sales efforts commenced. Father and son duo, Brad and Jonathan Lafevers, took the lead in getting the company off the ground. Cordele Intermodal Services incorporated in January 2010 after twelve years of research and careful market analysis. The company celebrated a ground breaking ceremony in July of that year.
The following year, GDOT funded rail improvements that were essential to operation. On December 1st, 2011, Cordele Intermodal Services sent its inaugural train to the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah. That first train held eight containers.
CIS immediately showed great potential in its first full year of operation. Since CIS has commenced operations, it has seen exponential growth year after year.
Cotton and kaolin were the primary commodities shipped in 2012. However, the massive peanut crop in 2012 left shippers scrambling for truck power. Cordele Intermodal Services was able to fumigate on site and move massive amounts of peanuts to the port for the peanut industry. A commodity and service was added to the CIS portfolio.
By the summer of 2013 the relationship between CIS and GPA had evolved significantly. It was decided that CIS would be Zone 1 for a project formed by the two entities called “Network Georgia”. Network Georgia will be a network of inland ports that all exclusively serve the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah. Cordele is the flagship terminal and will set the standard for the other 5 zones. In July 2013 CIS and GPA signed an MOU outlining this mutually beneficial relationship. Governor Nathan Deal and GPA Executive Director, Curtis Foltz signed the document, publicly voicing their support of the company and its mission.
The forward momentum continued through the balance of 2013 when another large shipper was added to the CIS roster. Cordele Intermodal Services more than doubled its business in 2013. Maersk Lines, the largest container vessel line that calls Savannah, designated Cordele Intermodal Services an official Container Yard. The following summer, CMA CGM also give Cordele Intermodal CY status. This designation makes it possible for those lines to pool containers at CIS as well as stop and start “free time” in Cordele instead of Savannah. Although CIS can source equipment from all the ocean carriers that call the GPA, CIS continues to work to garner more CY designations for the benefit of its shippers.
With support rallied from around the state and volumes steadily increasing, the future continues to be a bright one at Cordele Intermodal Services.