port of savannah

The 14,000-TEU ONE Wren and five other vessels call on the 1,345-acre Garden City Terminal at the Port of Savannah. Photo: Georgia Ports Authority

Georgia Ports Kick Off Fiscal Year with Record Container and Ro/Ro Traffic

Mike Schuler
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August 16, 2021

The Georgia Ports Authority kicked off its 2022 fiscal year with record volumes in both containers and Roll-on/Roll-off traffic as consumer demand continues to drive cargo numbers.

The Port of Savannah handled 450,000 TEUs in July, an increase of 25 percent compared to July 2020. Meanwhile auto and machinery units in Brunswick grew to 61,470, up 39 percent compared to the same month last year.

Savannah’s Garden City’s Terminal, which added nearly 900,000 TEU in FY2021, has now achieved container trade records in nine of the past 10 months. In Brunswick, four out of the top 10 months for Ro/Ro trade have occurred since October 2020.

“Consumer demand and the addition of extra loader vessels is driving a prolonged surge in volumes,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “I’d 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 expedited 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 open operation as a support services site for Garden City Terminal, increasing on-terminal chassis storage. In 2023, GPA will commission another 92 acres, adding 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity.

“We’re expecting continued elevated demand in both Brunswick and Savannah through at least the end of 2021,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “To accommodate growing business, the board approved last month $525 million in bonds to fund our berth and container yard enhancements.”

Also in 2023, improvements to Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal will be completed, allowing Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels, and three additional ships. In a related project, GPA is purchasing eight new ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 38.

Additionally, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is now 90 percent complete. The deepening will allow Super Post-Panamax vessels. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.

The Port of Savannah handled 9.3 percent of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2020. In FY2021, which ran June 2020 through July 2021, the Port of Savannah moved a record 5.3 million TEU, growing cargo volumes by 20 percent or approximately 900,000 TEU.

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