The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) board approved $5.85 million for 20 new refrigerated container racks at Garden City Terminal, to accommodate growth in the cold storage market.
“Increased on- and off-terminal capacity gives customers more options for moving refrigerated commodities to and from international markets,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “This additional infrastructure will strengthen Savannah’s position as the premier East Coast facility for refrigerated exports.”
By adding 20 more racks, GPA will increase its refrigerated container rack slots by 480, for a total of 2,496—a 28% increase in refrigerated container rack capacity. Counting 600 chassis plug-ins, Savannah’s total capacity will grow to 3,096 refrigerated boxes.
The Port of Savannah handles nearly 40% of the nation’s containerized poultry exports, and much of that cargo is supplied by Georgia growers. Supporting agribusiness is an important part of GPA’s mission. Farming accounts for more than $75 billion in total economic impact and employs more than 375,000 people in Georgia. The Port of Savannah links poultry, pecans, peanuts, and blueberries to global buyers.
Refrigerated container racks have greatly increased efficiency of frozen cargo handling at the Port of Savannah, making the operation cleaner for the environment. Previously, diesel generators were used to power refrigerated containers in tandem with wheeled parking spots with electrical hookups. Today, for every 10 racks placed into service, the GPA avoids the use of about 540,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, which would have been used to power diesel generators.
The additional racks approved by the GPA board will also allow the Port of Savannah to make room for the anticipated 4.5% growth rate for refrigerated cargo.
Local private investment in cool chain logistics over the past three years includes:
•Gulf States Cold Storage, also in 2013, opened a 100,000-square-foot facility in Savannah, and recently announced a 55,000-sq-ft expansion.
•Lineage Logistics purchased a 250,000-sq-ft facility and a 225,000-sq-ft distribution center in the Savannah market in 2012.
•Nordic Cold Storage opened a 200,000-sq-ft blast freezing and cold storage facility in 2013, and plans phase two of expansion with a state-of-the-art facility with more than 8 million cubic feet of cold storage.
For more information, access www.gaports.com.