Trident Seafoods has opened a $40 million production and distribution center in Carrollton GA, providing 175 full-time jobs and the capacity to produce 50,000 tons of finished products annually for the US market.

“We are excited to add Trident to our family of customers, especially within the valuable refrigerated cargo market,” said Curtis Foltz, Georgia Ports Authority executive director. “This is an important win for Georgia, and for the Port of Savannah.”

Savannah’s Garden City Terminal offers 84 refrigerated container racks and 814 chassis plug-ins, powering 2,830 refrigerated boxes at a time. Another 20 racks should be complete by the end of 2015, adding 480 refrigerated container slots.

Founded in 1973 by Chuck Bundrant with two fishermen partners and a single vessel, family-owned Trident Seafoods is now North America’s largest vertically integrated seafood harvesting and processing company.

The Seattle WA-based company’s Carrollton site is seven miles from Interstate 20, 30 miles from I-85, and approximately 50 miles east of Atlanta.

Company officials said the production plant and distribution center has been engineered to meet the needs of Trident customers on the Eastern Seaboard. The new facility will streamline production for a growing number of breaded and battered seafood items, and offer logistical advantages.

While Trident customers include major Eastern retailers, club stores, restaurant chains and foodservice distributors, until recently the company’s brick-and-mortar presence extended only as far east as Motley MN.

With assistance from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Carroll Tomorrow, Trident acquired the land necessary to expand and repurpose an existing food processing facility, and got local workforce training in food safety and seafood processing skills.

The plant sits on about 81 acres and includes an 88,000 square-foot manufacturing floor overlooked by 18,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of support area.

Besides the production and research and development facilities, the plant includes a distribution center with 67,000 square feet of cold storage space to keep finished products at 0° F until shipment. Fifteen truck bays will facilitate offloading of raw materials and the shipment of finished, frozen products. Truck bays feature sealed climate-controlled areas where trucks can open their doors and load finished goods without dumping air from pre-chilled compartments. Once the plant is fully operational, it is expected to employ 175 workers.

As the plant ramps up to full capacity, Trident expects to produce a full line of portion-controlled seafood products cut from pollock, cod, salmon, halibut, tilapia, sole, and mahi mahi, as well as an array of non-seafood appetizers.

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