Georgia Ports Authority marks year of record growth

Georgia Ports Authority marks year of record growth

In his annual State of the Port address, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported on a year of extraordinary growth, and provided a review of the $142 million fiscal year 2016 capital expenditure plan.

Included in the plan to significantly increase capacity at the Garden City Terminal is a new empty container depot that will add more than 15,000 20-foot equivalent container slots. Foltz also detailed plans for the new Gate 8, which will add eight interchange lanes by March 2016. In addition, the authority is expected to receive four new ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 26, and 30 new rubber-tired gantry cranes for a total of 146 in FY2016, Foltz said.

In FY2015, a record 3.66 million 20-foot equivalent container units crossed the docks at the Port of Savannah—a jump of 17%, or more than half a million TEUs. Of that cargo, 369,347 containers moved by rail, an 11% increase over the previous year. Total cargo across all terminals reached 31.7 million tons for the year, a 7.8% gain.

“Effective, efficient port services are an important lure for new business,” Foltz said. “In fact, port-related expansions announced during FY15 will bring more than $619 million in private investment and more than 2,770 new jobs to Georgia.”

Growth came in the form of warehouse and distribution centers for retailers and logistics providers for refrigerated cargo, as well as automotive and other manufacturing sites.

Foltz also detailed progress toward deepening the Savannah Harbor. Earlier in September, the 300-foot Great Lakes Dredge and Dock vessel the Alaska began work on a $134.5 million contract issued to dredge the 18.5-mile outer harbor to 49 feet at mean low water. Better accommodating Post-Panamax vessels in Savannah will reduce transportation costs for US companies moving goods through the port by 20% to 40%.

Beyond the terminal gates, Georgia’s Department of Transportation is set to complete the Jimmy Deloach Parkway extension in 2016. The project will provide a direct route between Garden City Terminal and Interstates 95 and 16, separating truck and commuter traffic, and cutting transit time for both.

GPA records set in fiscal year 2015 include:

•3.66 million 20-foot equivalent units

•369,347 containers moved by rail

•714,008 units of roll-on/roll-off cargo

•31.69 million total tons

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