The Georgia Ports Authority kicked off its fiscal year 2022 with record volumes in both container and Ro/Ro traffic, as consumer demand continues to drive cargo numbers.
The Port of Savannah handled 450,000 TEUs in July, a 25% increase compared to July 2020. Meanwhile, auto and machinery units at Brunswick grew to 61,470, up 39 percent compared to the same month last year.
The Savannah Garden City terminal, which added nearly 900,000 TEUs in fiscal 2021, has now achieved container trade records in nine of the last 10 months. In Brunswick, four of the 10 best months for Ro/Ro trade have occurred since October 2020.
“Consumer demand and the addition of additional cargo vessels are driving a prolonged increase in volumes,” said GPA CEO Griff Lynch. “I would like to thank our GPA employees and the Georgia logistics community for the long hours and hard work they are putting in to handle this unprecedented business.”
GPA has accelerated projects to add space for another 1.4 million TEUs annually. Its Peak Capacity project will add 700,000 TEUs in two phases, the first of which opens this fall.
In March 2022, a 25-acre parcel along Ga. 21 will come online as a support services site for Garden City Terminal, increasing chassis storage at the terminal. In 2023, GPA will bring another 92 acres online, adding 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity.
“We expect demand to remain high in both Brunswick and Savannah through at least the end of 2021,” said GPA board chairman Joel Wooten. “To accommodate the increased activity, the board last month approved $525 million in bonds to fund our berth and container yard improvements.”
Also in 2023, improvements to Berth 1 at the Garden City terminal will be completed, allowing Savannah to simultaneously service four 16,000-TEU vessels, and three additional vessels. In a related project, GPA is purchasing eight new ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 38.
In addition, the Savannah Harbor deepening project is 90% complete. The deepening will allow for Super Post-Panamax vessels. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs statewide annually and contribute $29 billion in revenue, $122 billion in earnings and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.
The Port of Savannah handled 9.3% of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5% of all U.S. containerized exports in FY 2020. In FY2021, which ran from June 2020 to July 2021, the Port of Savannah moved a record 5.3 million TEUs, increasing cargo volumes by 20 percent or approximately 900,000 TEUs.