GPA off to accelerated start in new fiscal year

Crews work to prepare Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal to serve vessels with a capacity of 16,000+ twenty-foot equivalent container units. The Georgia Ports Authority is building new berth and container yard capacity to accommodate growing demand.

 

UNPRECEDENTED VOLUME MOVES THROUGH PORT OF SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 8, 2022 – The Georgia Ports Authority kicked off its new fiscal year with the fastest start ever, handling 530,800 twenty-foot equivalent container units in July, an increase of 18 percent.

Since January, GPA has moved 3.4 million TEUs, up 231,400 or 7 percent over its performance during the same period in 2021 – a record year in which GPA handled 5.6 million TEUs. Annualized, the July volumes have the Port of Savannah moving containers at a rate of more than 6 million TEUs per year.

“The Port of Savannah has clearly become a preferred East Coast gateway for shippers globally, including cargo diverted from the U.S. West Coast,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our expedited infrastructure projects, extended gate hours and the outstanding work of our employees and partners are key to our ability to move cargo at a record pace.”

To better suit drivers’ needs, GPA has shifted operations to start two hours earlier, with gates now open from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. without interruption. Since the new hours were implemented on Aug. 1, the port has seen strong adoption from drivers, with 3,000 transactions completed in the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. time block over the past week.

Lynch commended Gateway Terminals and local members of the International Longshoremen Association, including the clerks and checkers as well as maintenance and repair workers, for keeping the truck gates fluid, and the containers and chassis in working order. The Port of Savannah’s gate operations averaged 15,000 truck moves per weekday in July, including both import and export transactions.

“Our partnership with GPA allows us to optimize efficiency for a continuous flow of containers to foreign markets and to the factories, distribution centers and retail outlets that serve our nation’s economy,” said Kevin Price, president of Gateway Terminals. “The tremendous demand for services from Georgia Ports is a testament to the customer-centered drive that is at the heart of all our efforts.”

Lynch noted that Savannah’s container operation is growing to deftly accommodate the increasing needs of existing and future customers. Current infrastructure projects will soon increase berth capacity to handle vessels faster. GPA has eight new ship-to-shore cranes on order, with the first four arriving in February and the next four arriving by the end of 2023. Additionally, another big ship berth at Garden City Terminal is 60 percent complete, with the improvements slated to come online in July 2023. The improved berth will add 1.4 million TEUs of berth capacity, while the Garden City Terminal West project will add another 1 million TEUs of container yard capacity in phases during 2023 and 2024.

Georgia Ports Authority will grow annual berth capacity from 6 million to 7.5 million TEUs by next year, and 9 million TEUs by 2025. GPA anticipates spending $4.5 billion over the next 12 years to expand its container-handling capabilities.

“While the global logistics network has been challenged over the past two years, our message to customers is that at GPA, we’re continuing to build and expand,” said GPA Chairman Joel Wooten. “We’re moving forward with an aggressive plan to enhance our terminal operations and improve the rail connectivity to major commercial and manufacturing centers.”

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com.

Savannah stays on pace at nearly 5.8M TEUs in FY2022

 

The Georgia Ports Authority closed out Fiscal Year 2022 with its busiest June ever, handling 494,107 twenty-foot equivalent container units. GPA is handling the highest volume of ad hoc and new service vessels the Port of Savannah has experienced to date.

 

GPA KEEPS CONTAINERS FLOWING AMID UNPRECEDENTED VOLUMES

SAVANNAH, Ga., July 26, 2022 – Fiscal Year 2022 was another record-breaker for the Georgia Ports Authority, with container volumes growing 8 percent for a total of 5.76 million twenty-foot equivalent container units.

The Port of Savannah ended the year with a record June, handling 494,107 TEUs in total cargo, up 10.6 percent or 47,300 TEUs compared to the same month last year.

“As the hub in a global network of road, rail and ocean carrier connections, our ports link Georgia businesses to international trade lanes and open doors to prosperity for our state and nation,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “The Georgia Ports Authority and its partners in the logistics industry are powerful drivers for local economies across the Peach State, from small communities to our thriving urban centers.”

In addition to organic growth among its port customers, Savannah trade has also been boosted by West Coast labor talks and delayed access to rail at West Coast ports, prompting a significant shift in vessel calls. Savannah is also receiving container trade diverted from the Port of Charleston. GPA is currently handling the highest volume of ad hoc and new service vessels the Port of Savannah has experienced to date. Uncertainty around the labor talks, unprecedented and unplanned vessel calls, record cargo volume, and vessel diversions to Savannah have contributed to a higher than normal number of vessels waiting at anchor.

“Despite the record volumes, the Port of Savannah remains fluid,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Several factors have contributed to our growing container capacity, including expedited infrastructure projects, our inland pop-up yards and an influx of truck drivers moving to the Southeast.”

GPA is experiencing record truck turns during both its day and night-gate operations. Garden City Terminal saw a weekday average of 14,500 truck moves in June, counting both inbound and outbound gate exchanges.

To better accommodate rising demand, the GPA recruited 166 new workers in FY2022, for a total of 1,647 direct employees.

“I would like to thank our employees, as well as our partners at Gateway Terminals and the International Longshoremen’s Association for their outstanding work to keep commerce flowing across our docks,” Lynch said. “Through communication, collaboration and teamwork, we continue to provide unmatched service to our mutual customers.”

Looking forward, the GPA Board approved the purchase of 12 new rubber-tired gantry cranes and other container handling equipment at its regular July meeting. The RTG purchase totals $30.25 million. The Port of Savannah already features 198 RTGs, and another 24 were already on order. Tuesday’s action will bring the fleet to 234 in Savannah.

“Growing our workforce and infrastructure is part of the Board’s continuing commitment to keep our deepwater terminals ready to take on new trade,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “Presently, we are expanding our dock space to handle additional big ships and increasing our container storage space in Savannah, while simultaneously enhancing our capabilities to move autos and breakbulk in Brunswick.”

In FY2022, export loads accounted for 1.32 million TEUs for GPA, while import loads totaled 2.86 million. Top exports included forest products, kaolin clay and automotive cargo. Top import commodities included furniture, machinery and plastic goods.

In addition to increased container trade, breakbulk tonnage also saw strong growth in FY2022, up 15.7 percent to more than 3 million tons. Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick turned in a particularly strong performance, with breakbulk forest products leaping from 52,244 tons in FY2021 to 252,000 tons in the fiscal year ended June 30.

“Much of the increase in breakbulk cargo crossing GPA docks is related to the relatively lower cost of breakbulk movement compared to container rates in today’s market,” Lynch said.

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com.

GPA sets all-time trade record in May

The Port of Savannah handled more than 519,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units in May, a record. Georgia Ports Authority is expanding Berth 1 (50 percent complete) and yard capacity in Savannah to accommodate the growing container trade. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority)

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., June 15, 2022 – The Georgia Ports Authority moved an all-time high 519,390 twenty-foot equivalent container units in May, breaking the previous record of 504,350 TEUs set in October 2021.

GPA’s May volumes grew by 8.5 percent, or 40,770 TEUs, compared to the same month last year.

“Despite global supply chain challenges, the Port of Savannah continues to be an economic driver, providing reliable, world-class service for port customers across our state and nation,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “Delivering new opportunity for hardworking Georgians and supporting economic prosperity across the Peach State is central to the mission of our deepwater ports.”

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch noted Garden City Terminal is handling more business during the current influx of trade than during the previous spike, last fall. The additional trade is driven in part by vessels diverting to Savannah from other East and West Coast ports.

“Strong consumer demand continues to drive higher volumes at the Port of Savannah,” Lynch said. “The infrastructure improvements and pop-up yards approved by the GPA Board have enabled our operations to maintain the flow of cargo across our terminal, despite unprecedented container volumes passing through the port.”

As of April, GPA has added 900,000 TEUs of annual capacity to Garden City Terminal. Another 300,000 are expected to come online in July for a new total of more than 7 million TEUs of container handling space.

Additionally, Phase I of the Garden City Terminal West expansion has added a 25-acre container yard adjacent to Ga. Highway 21, a principal truck route approaching the main terminal. Phase II will add up to 1 million TEUs of annual capacity, which will begin coming online in 2023.

“By increasing container space at Garden City Terminal, GPA is accommodating the expansion in global commerce that supports job growth in Georgia,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten.  “Industries from logistics to auto manufacturing, and agriculture to retail depend on Georgia’s ports for reliable supply chain solutions.”

The Port of Savannah completed 327,400 truck gate moves in May, counting loaded import and export containers, as well as the movement of empty chassis. Thanks to the flexibility of motor carriers taking advantage of night gate hours, Garden City Terminal facilitated more than 15,000 truck moves between the hours of 7 and 11 p.m. last month, up from just over 10,000 in April. Another 48,000 containers (approximately 88,000 TEUs) moved by rail in May.

In addition to the container trade, GPA achieved a 28 percent increase in breakbulk cargo for the month. Breakbulk commodities including iron and steel, rubber, and forest products reached 320,722 tons in May, up 70,780 tons.

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com.

Port of Savannah moves nearly 500K TEUs in record April

The Port of Savannah handled 4.75 million twenty-foot equivalent container units over the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2022 (July-April), up 8 percent. Georgia Ports Authority is expanding berth and container yard capacity in Savannah to accommodate growing business.

GPA SET FOR MAJOR CAPACITY IMPROVEMENT

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 17, 2022 – The Port of Savannah handled 495,782 twenty-foot equivalent container units last month, a record for the month of April and the Georgia Ports Authority’s third busiest month ever. GPA’s Garden City Terminal now handles nearly one out of every nine loaded containers crossing the nation’s docks.

“The phenomenal growth we have achieved has been made possible by the team effort of GPA and Gateway Terminals employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and our partners in trucking and rail,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Their hard work has ensured the free flow of cargo between major markets across the U.S. Southeast and the world.”

GPA’s containerized trade increased 6.2 percent, or 29,150 TEUs in April, compared to the same month a year ago. The growth is related in part to retailers replenishing depleted inventories and making early orders to ensure product availability. For the fiscal year to date, GPA has handled 4.75 million TEUs, an improvement of 8 percent or 344,260 TEUs year over year.

“Our long-running program of infrastructure expansion, coupled with the Authority’s ability as an owner-operator to speed up the schedule of development, has allowed the Port of Savannah to adapt to heightened container volumes,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “On-terminal and inland capacity improvements enable cargo to flow across our docks without congestion.”

Savannah was recently ranked the top U.S. container port by loaded export volume, handling 1.38 million TEUs in Calendar Year 2021.

Board Actions

At Tuesday’s meeting, Board members voted to retain the current slate of officers, maintaining Chairman Joel Wooten, Vice Chairman Kent Fountain, and Secretary-Treasurer Alec Poitevint. The three will serve a second term in their positions in Fiscal Year 2023, running from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

Capacity Improvement Update

  • In other business Tuesday, the Board approved a measure to replace a 50,000 square-foot cargo shed at Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick with a new, 100,000 square-foot warehouse with up-to-date life safety improvements and flooring upgrades to handle heavy cargoes.
  • The renovations to Container Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal are more than 40 percent complete. The realigned CB-1 will increase annual berth capacity by 1.4 million TEUs and provide an additional big ship berth served by new ship-to-shore cranes. Substantial completion is expected in June 2023.
  • In addition, the Authority expects to bring online nine new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes by the spring of 2023. This will bring the Port of Savannah’s total RTG fleet to 207.
  • The Peak Capacity Project has added 900,000 TEUs of annual container yard capacity to Garden City Terminal as of April 13. Another 300,000 TEUs of capacity are expected to come online by July.
  • Phase I of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a 25-acre chassis yard adjacent to Ga. 21. Grading and placement of aggregate base are ongoing, with the contractor having turned over approximately 10 acres of space for use in February. Construction should be complete by mid-summer.
  • Phase II of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a total of 1 million TEUs of annual capacity, with the first phase coming online in 2023.

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com.

GPA extends growth trend with busiest February ever

$538M capacity expansion approved to meet demand

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 29, 2022 – The Port of Savannah’s container volume grew nearly 18 percent in February, extending year-over-year increases to 19 consecutive months for the Georgia Ports Authority. To better accommodate that growth, the GPA Board has expedited more than $538 million in capacity expansion projects initially anticipated years into the future.
 
“Today’s action by the board will result in an unprecedented expansion, ensuring our ability to implement flexible solutions to meet our customers’ evolving needs,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This growth plan is part of an overall strategy to enhance operations, accommodate increased demand, and deliver the world-class service and reliability that have become synonymous with GPA.”
 
At the board meeting, Lynch reported the Port of Savannah moved 460,413 TEUs in February, an increase of 69,610 TEUs, or 17.8 percent.
 
In light of the sustained increase in cargo volumes, Georgia Ports will make major investments in both Brunswick and Savannah. These expansion projects will increase the Port of Savannah’s annual capacity from the current 6 million to 9.5 million TEUs by 2025.
 
GPA will develop 85 additional acres, which will include vehicle processing facilities at the Port of Brunswick. The new pavement and buildings are slated to be complete in 2023, significantly increasing capacity. Colonel’s Island Terminal has another 355 acres permitted for development.
 
Additionally, the board gave the go-ahead to the Garden City Terminal West expansion, which Lynch designated a “permanent pop-up yard” – a reference to the six temporary yards GPA has established at inland markets. The project adds 90 acres of container storage, a truck gate and rubber-tired gantry cranes to serve the existing Garden City Terminal footprint. The development will increase the Port of Savannah’s annual capacity by 1 million TEUs in phases through 2023 and 2024.
 
“With the completion of the Savannah Harbor deepening, we have the water depth to more easily accommodate big ships,” Lynch said. “Our current projects will complement the harbor expansion by giving us the landside capacity we need to handle larger container volumes.”
 
GPA will also add a truck gate and access road to link Garden City Terminal to another 90-acre parcel just upriver. The Authority is building a transloading facility with a cross-docking warehouse there that is expected to be complete by April 2023. The facility addresses a demand for cross-dock services in Savannah, allowing customers to move cargo directly from the docks to destination markets or distribution centers. The board also agreed to order seven new ship-to-shore cranes for the Port of Savannah. Along with a previous eight-crane order in November 2020, this will bring Savannah’s fleet to 42.
 
“Considering the ambitious slate of work we have set to expand our operations, customers can confidently build GPA into their immediate and long-term growth plans,” said Joel Wooten, GPA board chairman. “Our berth and terminal capacity improvements further strengthen Georgia’s position as the gateway to the U.S. Southeast and beyond.”
 
Expected cost of the projects approved Tuesday equate to 33 percent of the $1.6 billion GPA spent on new infrastructure over the past 10 years. The growth will be funded through a combination of bonds and internal GPA capital.
 
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.
 
For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com
 

Port of Savannah marks milestone: Harbor deepening complete

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a ceremony marking completion of the Savannah Harbor deepening, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Savannah, Ga. Deepening the Savannah Harbor to 47 feet at mean low water (the average depth at low tide), provides ample draft for vessels carrying 16,000+ twenty-foot equivalent container units, allowing ships to transit the river with more containers each trip and during more hours of the day. (GPA Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

 

Project helps accelerate global commerce

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 25, 2022 – The Georgia Ports Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia Department of Transportation and dignitaries joined Friday to mark completion of the Savannah Harbor deepening. The project expedites the flow of cargo to and from global destinations by reducing tidal restrictions for mega-ships transiting the Savannah River.

Georgia exporters now have greater opportunity to move goods overseas, because ships can take on more cargo. Additionally, faster vessel service means the Port of Savannah can handle more ships each year.

“This is a great day for the state of Georgia and for the nation,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “The Port of Savannah is the gateway port for our region, and the first choice of businesses serving the U.S. Southeast. Completion of our harbor deepening is a testament to a shared commitment between state and federal partners – like our previous governors and current and former members of Congress who worked tirelessly to help move this project forward – to provide the infrastructure our economy needs to thrive. Our collaborative approach to economic development is what makes Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I also want to thank the Georgia General Assembly for their valued partnership and for backing this project through many legislative sessions.”

Dredging for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project started in September 2015, adding five feet in depth to the shipping channel. Initial feasibility studies for the harbor deepening began in 1997. 

“After more than 20 years in the making, we are thrilled to mark this accomplishment today,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority. “A deeper channel means more than just efficient passage for the largest vessels calling the U.S. East Coast. It means continued opportunity, job growth and prosperity for the people of our state.”

According to a Corps of Engineers study, the project is expected to net more than $291 million in annual benefits to the nation, or approximately $7.70 for every dollar invested in the project.

“The Savannah District is proud to partner with the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority in completing the deepening of Savannah Harbor,” said Col. Joseph R. Geary, Commander, Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Complemented by unprecedented remediation efforts, the economic and environmental benefits provided through shipping efficiencies will drive healthy growth in the Southeast for decades to come.”

Deepening the Savannah Harbor to 47 feet at mean low water (the average depth at low tide), provides ample draft for vessels carrying 16,000+ twenty-foot equivalent container units, allowing ships to transit the river with more containers each trip and during more hours of the day. Along with Savannah’s 7-foot tidal swing, the water is as deep as 54 feet at high tide.

The deeper water enables ships to load up to approximately 1,000 containers worth of additional cargo, for increased efficiency in vessel transport.

“That’s important to our exporters, because it means Georgia-grown and manufactured goods reach international markets faster,” said Joel Wooten, GPA board chairman. “The harbor deepening directly complements our overall mission to support growth through global commerce.”

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com

GPA responds to completion of harbor deepening

The dredge Hampton Roads works to deepen the Savannah River in front of Garden City Terminal. Inner harbor deepening at the Port of Savannah is slated for completion in late 2021. The inner harbor deepening is the final portion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. (Georgia Ports Authority)

SAVANNAH, Ga., March. 9, 2022 – In response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcement that deepening is complete for the Savannah Harbor, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch has issued the following statement:

After more than 20 years in the making, we are thrilled to celebrate the completion of dredging for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. A deeper channel means more than just efficient passage for the largest vessels calling the U.S. East Coast. It means continued opportunity, job growth and prosperity for the state of Georgia.

Georgia Ports and the thousands of customers who rely on us owe our gratitude to our state’s leadership, Georgia’s congressional delegation and our federal partners who have championed this project from beginning to end.  In particular, the many women and men who have worked on this project with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers deserve our gratitude for their hard work and integrity in seeing this project through.

This is an exciting day for Georgia, as we open a new chapter in providing the world-class service customers have come to expect from the Port of Savannah.

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Loretta Lepore at (912) 964-3855 or llepore@gaports.com.

GPA increasing Brunswick’s annual capacity to 1.4M vehicles

 

Adding new berth, expanding storage, growing breakbulk capability

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 9, 2022 – At the Brunswick State of the Port event Wednesday, the Georgia Ports Authority unveiled plans to grow capacity at Brunswick’s flagship autoport and its breakbulk terminal for forest products.

“We’re expanding berth and terminal capacity at both Colonel’s Island and Mayor’s Point so that we are ready to take on additional trade,” said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. “The investments we are making will lay the groundwork for job growth and new opportunity in the Brunswick region.”

As the nation’s second busiest hub for Ro/Ro cargo, behind only Baltimore, the Port of Brunswick moved 650,000 units of vehicles and heavy machinery in Calendar Year 2021, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

“A testament to the trust customers have in the Georgia Ports Authority and its partners across the logistics community, the Port of Brunswick delivered an outstanding performance this year – despite economic headwinds,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “In the coming years, Georgia’s posture as the number one state for forestry and as a global leader in the automotive industry – for automakers of both combustion and non-combustion engines – will continue to strengthen, and I’m confident given the exemplary leadership and hardworking Georgians who keep cargo moving, that the Port of Brunswick will continue to be a driving force behind the Peach State’s success.”

At the Wednesday event, hosted by the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, GPA Chief Administrative Officer Jamie McCurry outlined a $150 million development plan. GPA will add a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island, 360,000 square feet of new warehousing, and 85 additional acres for auto processing. The new pavement and buildings are slated to be complete in 2023. The additional auto storage on the south side of the island will increase the terminal’s annual capacity from 1.2 million to 1.4 million vehicles. Colonel’s Island has a total of 355 acres permitted for expansion.

“Home to more than 20 automaker brands, Colonel’s Island is poised to become the Southeast’s premier autoport,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “With more room to grow, better connections to inland markets, and an operation dedicated to Roll-on/Roll-off cargo, Colonel’s Island is the region’s busiest gateway for autos and machinery.”

The new berth, recently approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will include a concrete deck and system of mooring dolphins extending Ro/Ro vessel berthing space from 3,355 feet to 4,630 feet. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of 2022 and take two years to complete.

In addition to growing the auto trade, GPA will upgrade near-dock storage areas to better accommodate heavy machinery used in agriculture, construction and warehousing operations.

The GPA also reported that bulk cargo handled by terminal operator Logistec totaled 902,000 tons at East River Terminal last year, while Mayor’s Point handled 88,380 tons of forest products in 2021.

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or rmorris@gaports.com.

Port of Savannah to grow capacity by 60 percent

Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, delivers his 2022 State of the Port address, Thursday Feb. 24, 2022, at the Savannah Convention Center. Lynch updated a capacity crowd on infrastructure projects that will ensure the smooth flow of cargo. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports/Stephen B. Morton)

Yard, dock, river improvements support expanding trade 

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., Feb. 24, 2022 – At today’s Savannah State of the Port, Griff Lynch, Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) executive director, unveiled plans to expand the port’s container capacity by 60 percent. The enhancements will bring the Port of Savannah’s annual capacity from 6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units to 9.5 million TEUs by 2025.
 
“Our expansion is being matched by incredible growth in both warehouse space and workforce,” Lynch said. “The public and private investment that we’re seeing, as well as the number of people being drawn to the business, make Savannah the hottest market in the country for transportation and logistics.”
 
Projects now under way will add 1.7 million TEUs of annual capacity in four months. GPA’s Peak Capacity project has already added 400,000 TEUs in container handling space to the Garden City Terminal and will make room for another 820,000 TEUs by June. In the same month, a new container yard just upriver will add another 500,000 TEUs of capacity. Separately, the Garden City Terminal West project will add up to 1 million TEUs in phases by 2024.
 
“GPA’s role facilitating commerce – even in difficult times – is key to Georgia’s long-term economic success, and I am proud of the can-do spirit that sets our ports apart from the rest of the nation,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “The Ports of Savannah and Brunswick together play a major role in positioning Georgia as the go-to state for economic development, and I am thankful for all the hardworking men and women who have hunkered down to move Georgia forward over the past year.”
 
During Lynch’s presentation, he showed how Savannah has become a national leader in supply chain solutions and effectively eliminated its backlog, while accommodating 18 consecutive months of growth. In Calendar Year 2021 alone, the GPA moved a record 5.6 million TEUs, for an unprecedented expansion of nearly a million TEUs, or 20 percent, compared to 2020.
 
In his comments before a capacity crowd, Lynch addressed a series of key logistics solutions, including the role six pop-up container yards – which add 500,000 TEUs of annual container space – are playing as a supply chain relief valve. He also spoke to the nation’s trucker shortage, and how Savannah has reversed that trend by registering 80 new drivers a week to serve Garden City Terminal, or a total of 1,200 new drivers and 370 new trucking companies just since November. Lynch also detailed GPA’s workforce development effort, the YES+ program. Now, in addition to hiring new high school graduates to work in maintenance and container operations, GPA has broadened the program to include career opportunities for young workers in other departments.
 
“Higher demand for our services is the reason we have expedited major expansions at the Port of Savannah,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “Georgia’s growing manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors will mean additional cargo through the Port of Savannah, driving the need for increased container handling capacity.”
 
The Savannah market added 6.5 million square feet of industrial space in 2021, for a total of 84 million, according to Colliers International. Savannah led the nation in terms of net absorption of overall inventory, so the vacancy rate remains at 2.3 percent. Another 17 million square feet are now under construction, lifting the market beyond 100 million square feet to better accommodate heightened cargo volumes.
 
Lynch thanked the 1,200 guests for coming to the first live State of the Port since 2019, and congratulated them on persevering through the previous, challenging year. The unprecedented level of trade crossing GPA’s docks is expected to continue well into 2022, Lynch said.
 
To ensure Savannah’s ability to handle these volumes, GPA is super-sizing its Berth 1, increasing on-dock capacity by 25 percent. In the spring of 2023, the expanded berth will allow Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels as well as three additional ships. The renovations will add an estimated 1.5 million TEUs per year of berth capacity.
 
Another game changer for the GPA is the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which will come online in March. The deeper river channel will allow 16,000+ TEU vessels to take on heavier loads and transit the river with greater scheduling flexibility.
 
“This project has been more than 20 years in the making,” Lynch said. “Through it all, there has been strong support across several administrations, from the General Assembly and our congressional delegation. A special debt of gratitude goes to the late Senator Johnny Isakson, who shepherded our harbor deepening efforts through the federal process.”
 
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.
 
For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or rmorris@gaports.com
 

GPA handles 479,000 TEUs in January

Eight cranes begin work on the 13,000 TEU container ship Ulsan Express at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Savannah, Ga. (GPA Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

On Feb. 2, Georgia Ports employees and partners including the International Longshoremen’s Association and Gateway Terminals worked the Hapag Lloyd Ulsan Express using eight ship-to-shore cranes. The GPA handled 479,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in January, an increase of 4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cargo growth bolsters port’s impact on economy

SAVANNAH, Ga., Feb. 9, 2022 – The Port of Savannah handled a record 479,700 twenty-foot equivalent container units of cargo in January, an increase of 4 percent over the same month a year ago, a month in which cargo volumes had expanded by 22 percent. The Port of Savannah has now set monthly records for the past 18 months.

“The steps we have taken to add capacity have broken the logjam in global logistics for our customers and created jobs throughout the supply chain” said Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The dedication and hard work of our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), and our other partners throughout the logistics community have also played a key role to keep cargo flowing.”

Over the past year and a half, the Port of Savannah has grown its container volumes by 1.2 million TEUs, and by more than 930,000 TEUs last year alone. According to the most recent economic impact study by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, port activity supports one job for every 10 TEUs moved each year, or an additional 93,000 full- and part-time jobs throughout Georgia in 2021. GPA alone grew by 145 employees last year. “It has been an inspiration to see how our team, the ILA and so many others in the supply chain have been ramping up the workforce with highly skilled and dedicated team members,” Lynch said.

In addition to expanding its workforce, GPA has now arranged a fifth pop-up container yard to grow its capabilities further. The Port of Savannah is now loading import containers for delivery to the 330-acre CCX Yard in Rocky Mount, N.C., which is owned and operated by CSX. In its initial arrangement with the railroad, GPA will use up to 400 container slots (about 800 TEUs), for an annual capacity of 40,000 TEUs. While GPA’s current use of the site will be limited to its Southeast Supply Chain Relief Program, the location has the potential to serve Raleigh, N.C., approximately 40 miles away from the CCX Yard.

“The success of our inland pop-up yards has provided an excellent relief valve and reduced the number of containers at the Port of Savannah,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “In combination with the on-terminal storage capacity that we continue to expand, our customers can be assured of the fast, reliable, world-class service they have come to expect from Georgia Ports.”

Four other flexible pop-up facilities are located near manufacturing and distribution centers in Savannah, Atlanta, Statesboro and the Appalachian Regional Port. The yards add 410,000 TEUs of additional container space, bring cargo closer to customers and reduce the amount of storage time at Garden City Terminal. 

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.

For more information, visit gaports.com, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or rmorris@gaports.com.