Double-digit Cargo Growth at Georgia Ports
The Georgia Ports Authority saw its busiest February ever for
total cargo, moving 2.94 million tons across all docks last month
- a 10 percent increase over February 2016, and second only to
January's 3.01 million tons.
Container tonnage was a leading factor in the growth, expanding
by 14.4 percent (314,832 tons) to more than 2.5 million tons for
the month. Measured in twenty-foot equivalent units,
containerized trade grew by 7.7 percent to reach 330,539 TEUs.
"Ocean carriers have recognized the Port of Savannah as the
must-call port to serve the Southeastern U.S.," GPA Executive
Director Griff Lynch reported to the Authority Board Monday.
"With the coming realignment of the shipping alliances in April,
Savannah will offer more container services than any other East
Coast or Gulf port, at 35 weekly vessel calls."
Lynch said Savannah's Ocean Terminal also achieved significant
growth in February, with a 9.2 percent increase in breakbulk
cargo for the month, led by linerboard, iron and steel, and
"A 38 percent increase in iron and steel is a good leading
indicator of future growth in construction, as well as automobile
and other manufacturing," he said.
Additionally, the ports chief noted that this week Garden City
Terminal in Savannah will commission a new Neo-Panamax
ship-to-shore crane, with three more set to come online by
mid-April. A separate, $45.3 million order will bring four more
cranes to the terminal in 2018, for a total of 30.
These cranes are necessary to serve the larger vessels calling on
Savannah. In the six months prior to the late June 2016 opening
of the expanded Panama Canal, Garden City Terminal had hosted no
vessels with a capacity of 10,000 or more TEUs. From July through
December 2016, the Port of Savannah received 31 calls from
10,000+ TEU vessels - matched only by Norfolk and New York-New
Jersey on the U.S. East Coast.
"As our business expands, we are investing in the infrastructure
that supports that growth so that we can continue to fulfill our
mission of supporting American exports and bringing new industry
to Georgia," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood.
In other business, the GPA Board approved a power grid upgrade to
provide greater resiliency and capacity for electric-powered
equipment at Garden City Terminal. Chief Operating Officer Ed
McCarthy said the Port of Savannah's continuing shift away from
diesel saves the authority millions of dollars annually in energy
costs and avoids tons of diesel emissions.
Mar 20, 2017