Georgia Ports Authority Reports 11.7% Growth in 2015

Port of Savannah
The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal will add four new cranes in 2016 and four in 2018, to bring the total to 30 ship-to-shore cranes. (GPA Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) saw a significant growth in container volumes last year.

On Monday, the authority reported that it achieved record container volumes in 2015, moving an all-time high 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) at the Port of Savannah. This shows an 11.7% increase from a year earlier.

The key drivers for this growth include a sharp demand in the U.S. Southeast and cargo diverted from the West Coast, according to GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz said.

Total tonnage across all terminals rose by 3.6% to a record 31.48 million tons in 2015. Container tonnage, which accounted for most of that growth, added 991,031 tons for a total of 25.81 million tons, while bulk cargo added 60,705 tons to reach 2.86 million. Breakbulk cargo jumped by 1.7% to 2.79 million tons.

At Monday’s meeting, the authority’s approved the purchase of four new ship-to-shore cranes for the Port of Savannah.  The port’s Garden City Terminal will add four new cranes in 2016 and four in 2018, to bring the total to 30 ship-to-shore cranes.

“With today’s decision, the Georgia Ports Authority will make a $47 million investment in order to maintain the highest level of service for port customers,” Foltz stated.

The cranes will be able to reach across vessels 22 containers wide and lift cargo weighing up to 72 tons to a height of 152 feet above the dock. Each crane weighs 1,388 tons and measures 433 feet wide and 185 feet tall.

In addition, the GPA’s board approved $8.2 million for phase three of construction of a new empty container depot.

GPA Board Chairman James Walters stated: “Georgia’s deep-water ports achieved an outstanding year in 2015 with the hard work of our employees and partners in labor, shipping, trucking and rail. By adding a truck gate, container yard space, container handling equipment and ship-to-shore cranes, the GPA is maintaining capacity ahead of demand to ensure efficient cargo movement.”

Writing by Nadeem (c) gCaptain