The Port of Savannah moved more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units across Garden City Terminal in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 (July 1-September 30), growing by 5.8% or 55,629 TEUs over the same period in FY17.
In September alone, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) moved 325,141 TEUs, an increase of 5.4% or 16,792 TEUs compared with the same month in 2016.
“Sustained organic growth coupled with increased market share are driving these volume increases,” said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. “We have also achieved major gains through the addition of Neo-Panamax vessels to the fleet serving Garden City Terminal.”
Container tons grew by 8.1%, or 543,761 tons, to reach 7.23 million tons for the quarter ending September 30.
During the annual Savannah State of the Port address held recently, Lynch outlined an infrastructure improvement plan to accommodate strong growth, expand existing markets and develop new ones. Included in the plan is the purchase of 10 additional ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 36. Four cranes will arrive in 2018, and the final six by 2020, allowing Garden City Terminal to move 1,300 containers per hour on and off vessels.
Additionally, the GPA’s $128 million Mega-Rail project will boost rail lift capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1 million containers per year by 2020. The project will add 97,000 feet of new track, including 18 new working tracks, and bring all switching on-terminal. Better accommodating trains up to two miles long will position the Port of Savannah to provide faster service to the US Midwest.
In 2018, the GPA’s Appalachian Regional Port, an inland terminal in Chatsworth GA, will open for service. The CSX-served container yard will expand the Port of Savannah’s reach into Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
Also in the coming year, the GPA will add six truck lanes at Garden City Terminal for a total of 54 lanes, a 12.5% gain.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2% of US containerized cargo volume and 10.3% of all US containerized exports in calendar year 2015.
For more information, go to www.gaports.com.