Photo courtesy Georgia Ports Authority

Port of Savannah Tops 5.6 Million TEU in 2021

Mike Schuler
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January 25, 2022

With a record-setting 2021 in the books, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is set to grow Savannah’s annual container capacity by 1.6 million TEUs by June, an increase of 25 percent.

The Port of Savannah moved a record 5.6 million TEU in 2021 for an increase of about 20% compared to 2020, the Georgia Ports Authority said Tuesday.

In Brunswick, Colonel’s Island Terminal handled 649,550 units of cars, trucks and machinery, an increase of 10.6%.

Savannah has now experienced 12 consecutive months of record container growth, with December volumes coming in at a record 465,000 TEUs and an all-time high of 312,000 truck gate moves. Counting Roll-on/Roll-off cargo handled via Ocean Terminal in Savannah, GPA moved a total of 668,166 units, an increase of 11% or 65,400 units.

“While Georgia’s maritime logistics community has been tested by a challenging year, I am proud of our ports’ achievements to keep cargo flowing, support jobs and industry across the region and the world, and to serve customers in every corner of the state,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “The Georgia Ports Authority not only powers economic success in the Peach State, it has served as an example to the nation in solving the supply chain crisis.”

In intermodal rail, the Port of Savannah grew by 10% in 2021, topping 538,000 container lifts, or nearly 1 million TEUs, a record. The addition of nine working tracks in November expanded the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year for an immediate increase of 30%. The expanded rail yard allows Savannah to build and receive six 10,000-foot long trains simultaneously, speeding the flow of international trade to and from the nation’s third busiest container gateway.

“Our expanded rail and yard capacity, along with new operational practices, allowed GPA to overcome serious headwinds in the international supply chain,” said Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The team – including our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association, stevedores, shipping lines, pilots, motor carriers and rail – came together to handle an unprecedented level of business last year.”

In 2021, Georgia Ports expedited the purchase of new equipment, completion of new capacity on terminal and hiring to accommodate increased demand for services. In total, GPA added four rail-mounted gantry cranes, 10 rubber-tired gantry cranes, 145 employees and annual yard capacity of 400,000 TEUs.

“Together, we are delivering on a promise of world-class customer service,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “With the expedited capacity projects that are already coming online, our customers can have confidence in our ability to grow along with their businesses.”

In March, GPA will add 500,000 TEUs of annual capacity, growing to a total of 1.6 million TEUs of new capacity by June – a 25% increase in Savannah’s previous capacity for container trade. At the Port of Brunswick, major expansion efforts are under way at Colonel’s Island that will increase Ro/Ro capacity to 1.3 million units by the end of the year, as well as adding new services to prepare vehicles for export.

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