Archive For The “GA Ports Authority” Category

Savannah now the top US port for ag exports

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Forest products, poultry major commodities

SAVANNAH, Ga., June 25, 2020 – The Port of Savannah’s proximity to major producers, direct access via road and rail, broad global network and responsiveness to customer needs have recently made it the top port in the nation for the export of containerized agricultural goods.

“Agriculture is a major driver for Georgia’s economy, contributing $74 billion in annual economic benefit and nearly 400,000 jobs across the state,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “As this country’s No. 1 port for the export of agricultural products, Savannah provides vital support for the state and nation, helping our farmers reach overseas buyers efficiently.”

In Calendar Year 2019, agriculture accounted for 60 percent of Savannah’s exports, or more than 843,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units. Forest products such as wood pulp, paper and logs made up the largest category of goods, followed by clay, cotton and poultry.

For the fiscal year to date (July 2019-May 2020), total loaded exports have increased by 15,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units to 1.33 million TEUs.

“The production of raw material and agricultural goods, along with their supply chains, have remained strong throughout the pandemic,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The powerful commitment by the agricultural sector mirrors that of GPA’s employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and the rest of our maritime logistics community.”

During the pandemic, GPA has focused on ensuring both chassis and empty containers are available to support the movement of export commodities. Through its association with the South Atlantic Chassis Pool II and the completion of a new on-terminal chassis yard, the Port of Savannah provides customers with access to the largest chassis pool in the Southeast. In addition, GPA’s team has focused on cargo owners and other contacts to ensure a reliable supply of containers.

On-terminal projects to expand export capacity have continued throughout the crisis, including the Mason Mega Rail, with the first nine of 18 new working tracks complete and two new rail-mounted gantry cranes slated to begin work in July.

GPA’s inland terminal, the Appalachian Regional Port, has seen increased volumes and export commodities coming from Northwest Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. At the Port of Savannah, GPA has increased its on-time performance of vessel operations to achieve its best performance in three years.

“GPA’s laser focus on the seamless flow of export commodities and the impressive growth at the ARP have created new avenues for American farmers to serve international customers,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight.

On Wednesday, June 24, Lynch addressed a webinar of more than 125 ag exporters, members of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, which advocates on transportation policy as it impacts U.S. farmers. The largest organization of its kind, AgTC members include agriculture exporters and importers, freight forwarders, agriculture trade associations, and the state departments of agriculture.

Peter Friedmann, executive director of AgTC stated, “For our members, the cost-effective movement of goods is a key factor in the profitability of farm and processor operations; working with the leadership of the nation’s international gateways, such as Port of Savannah, serves mutual interests of the port and ag exporters in growing cargo volumes. We look forward to expanding these relationships, and appreciate Mr. Lynch’s most effective  dialogue with our members this week.”

Lynch was joined for the question and answer portion of the webinar by GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy and Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron.

“We were pleased to have such a productive discussion with the AgTC members,” Lynch said. “Savannah’s longtime service to commodity exporters and extensive on-terminal infrastructure for refrigerated goods makes GPA a strong partner for the agricultural community.”

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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GPA elects officers for FY2021

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Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Georgia Ports Authority remained open for business. At Garden City Terminal, the GPA achieved a better than expected May, moving 337,359 TEUs, a decrease of 9.7 percent or 36,000 TEUs compared to the same month a year ago. (Georgia Ports Authority)

 

Georgia Ports achieve better than expected May

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., June 15, 2020 — At its meeting Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority board elected officers for the coming fiscal year, selecting Will McKnight to serve a second year as chairman.

Also on Monday, GPA Secretary-Treasurer Joel Wooten, Jr. was elected vice chairman and member Kent Fountain was elected secretary-treasurer.

“I look forward to working with Joel and Kent, who have a deep understanding of our economy and the role our ports play in the development of jobs,” McKnight said. “With their guidance, along with the dedication of the GPA  team, I am confident we will exit the current downturn stronger.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp congratulated the GPA officers upon taking on their responsibilities for Fiscal Year 2021.

“As catalysts for growth and recovery, our ports are helping Georgia companies regain their footing,” Kemp said. “Under the steady leadership of Chairman McKnight and the board, the GPA will continue to deliver prosperity to both small and large businesses across Georgia.”

McKnight thanked the GPA team for keeping the operation moving throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and for pushing forward on critical infrastructure projects that will be necessary to add capacity and new services as the economy reopens.

“Our ports and the logistics industry we serve are playing an integral role in moving the goods necessary to get America back to work,” said McKnight. “Our team has done a tremendous job keeping our ports active and working safe and smart throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The dedicated men and women across the ports and supply chain have once again proven that Georgia has the best team on the ground.”

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the GPA remained open for business, implementing strategic safety practices to protect the workers and port users facilitating global commerce. Georgia export commodities from peanuts and forest products to kaolin and poultry have continued to reach their markets on time and in some cases achieving year-over-year increases in trade.

In container traffic, the GPA achieved a better than expected May. In total cargo, the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal moved 337,359 TEUs in May, a decrease of 9.7 percent or 36,000 TEUs compared to the same month a year ago.

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch credited an unshaken commitment to customer service for the better-than-expected performance. “I would like to thank our GPA employees, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, motor carriers, rail and all our supply chain partners for their dedication,” Lynch said. “Their efforts, along with Savannah’s strong export commodities and record cargo moved by the Appalachian Regional Port are all contributing factors to our performance.”

The Appalachian Regional Port handled 2,856 containers of import and export commodities, an increase of 99 percent or 1,420 container lifts compared to the same month a year ago. Lynch credited the increase with shipping lines recognizing the inland port as an official container yard and routing more cargo through the facility.

Gov. Kemp recently announced that Huali Floors, a leading manufacturer of resilient flooring, will establish its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County. Creating 315 new jobs and investing more than $27 million in an existing facility, Huali Floors is the second ARP customer to announce a major development. GE Appliances opened a 500,000 square foot distribution center in March serving a multi-state region via the Northwest Georgia facility.

For the fiscal year to date, GPA’s container trade is slightly behind its FYTD2019 performance, at 4.1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, a decrease of 18,670 or 0.5 percent. Total cargo for the period from July 2019 through May 2020 reached 34.7 million tons, an increase of nearly 350,000 or 1 percent.

“While our deepwater terminals have seen challenges related to COVID-19, our long-term outlook remains positive as we focus on the fundamentals of serving our customers,” Lynch said. “The resiliency of Georgia’s ports is inherent in the underlying value and efficiency of our terminals and network connections.”

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

 

BOARD OFFICER BIOS


Will McKnight chairman

 

William McKnight was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia.  He graduated from The Academy of Richmond County in 1974 and from The Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979.  Following his graduation from Tech, he continued to work for his family-owned construction company in Augusta and has been the President since 1996. McKnight has overseen the completion of over $1 billion in construction projects.

In addition to McKnight’s extensive career in the construction industry, he has remained active in his community by serving and chairing many boards and committees.   He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of the First Bank of Georgia in May 2010 and then served on the board of State Bank which sold to Cadence Bank in 2018.  He is the past President and continued member of both the Augusta Country Club and Augusta Golf Association, and he has served on the boards of Associated General Contractors of America, Augusta Ballet, Richmond Academy Booster Club, Tuttle-Newton Home, Episcopal Day School and First Tee.  McKnight is a member of the Exchange Club of Augusta and Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church. He has served on the Georgia Ports Authority since 2014 where he has chaired the Development Committee and Finance Committee and served as the Secretary Treasurer and Vice Chairman before entering this, his second year as Chairman. He is a member of Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island Golf Club, and the Augusta National Golf Club where he has served on the Gallery Committee of the Masters since 2000 and is presently Chairman of the Grounds Committee for the Masters.  He has also been a member of the Planning and Development Committee for AU Foundation as well as the Consolidation Committee for MCG and Augusta State University.

He and his wife, Janet, have raised four daughters.  Dowtin graduated from Auburn University with a nursing degree.  Joining the family business, McKnight Construction Company in Augusta, are Davis; Jane Marie and her husband, who have three sons; and Blakely and her husband who have a son and daughter.


Joel Wooten Jr., Vice Chairman

 

Joel Wooten, Jr. is a founding member of the law firm of Butler Wooten & Peak, LLP.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1972, and earned a law degree from the University of Georgia in 1975. Wooten served as chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents from 2004-2005 and was a USG board member from 1999-2006. He has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians, and has been repeatedly selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer. He received the State Bar of Georgia’s Tradition of Excellence Award in 2000, the UGA Law School’s Distinguished Service Scroll in 2012, and the Amicus Curiae Award from the Supreme Court of Georgia in 2018. He and his wife, Sybrina, have five children and five grandchildren. They reside in Columbus.

 


 

 

Kent Fountain – Secretary / Treasurer

 

Kent Fountain serves as the President & CEO of Southeastern Gin & Peanut, Inc. in Surrency. Fountain attended the University of Georgia where he obtained a degree in Agricultural Economics. In 1995, Fountain began Southeastern Gin, Inc. and in 2004 built a peanut buying point, and the firm became Southeastern Gin & Peanut, Inc. In 2015, Fountain was instrumental in starting Premium Peanut, LLC, where he currently serves as Chairman. The recipient of numerous awards, Fountain received the Southeastern Ginner of the Year award in 2001 and the Horace Hayden National Ginner of the Year award in 2016. He and his wife, Missi, live in Screven and have two sons attending the University of Georgia.

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Savannah harbor deepening sets precedent; four dredges working simultaneously

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Joint News Release - USACE and GPA
For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2020

Contact:
For Corps of Engineers:
Russell A. Wicke
Corporate Communications Officer, 912-652-5777
Russell.A.Wicke@usace.army.mil
After hours: 912-856-4229

For Georgia Ports Authority:
Robert Morris, Chief Communications Officer, 912-964-3855
corporatecommunications@gaports.com

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 31, 2020– The deepening of the Savannah harbor has set a new precedent with four dredges working simultaneously, the Army Corps of Engineers announced.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) includes two dredges keeping the channel at its current authorized depth of 42 feet followed by two dredges taking the channel to its new depth of 47 feet. The dredges work without disrupting the flow of commercial traffic to or from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal and other facilities along the river.

The entire deepening project is approximately 62 percent complete. The inner harbor constitutes the final portion. The outer harbor, a roughly 20-mile channel extending into the Atlantic Ocean, has already been deepened to 49 feet at low tide.

“The Savannah District continues to manage the intensely complicated task of coordinating dredge actions and placement of dredged material to ensure safety, compliance with contract requirements and timeliness to reach our goal of completing this major deepening in January 2022,” Col. Daniel H. Hibner, commander of the Corps’ Savannah District said. “This effort ensures the harbor will improve the ability of Savannah to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.”

With finely tuned coordination, each dredge and its associated support vessels must be at the right place at the right time. The two smaller maintenance dredges remove built up shoaling and sediment, then move on followed by the larger deepening dredges. All vessels must move aside whenever commercial vessels enter their area. In addition, workers must move pipelines leading from the dredges to the dredge material disposal areas. After commercial traffic passes, everything must return to continue the routine. All dredges work 24 hours a day, every day.

“The cooperation we receive from GPA, our dredging contractors, the harbor pilots, the Coast Guard and others demonstrates the dedication this community has for deepening the Savannah harbor,” Hibner said.

The federal government and the state of Georgia share the cost of the deepening. Georgia’s Department of Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority serve as the state sponsors for the project.

“Georgia’s ports are among our greatest economic development assets and play a critical role in creating jobs and investment opportunities across the state,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “Through the Port of Savannah, we feed the world with Georgia Grown products, and support manufacturing and retail activity across the country. The improvements we are making today through the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will help ensure Georgia’s economic vitality for decades to come.”

 

The dredge Chatry works to deepen the Savannah River. 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)

 

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said the progress surging ahead on SHEP is good news for port users.

“With the challenges our economy is facing, the savings a deeper harbor will mean for our customers can’t come soon enough,” Lynch said. “We’re excited to see so much work getting done as the Corps of Engineers coordinates these efforts.”

The project will allow today’s larger container vessels to enter and leave the harbor during a longer tide window and with more cargo aboard. According to a Corps of Engineers feasibility study, lower container slot costs on the larger vessels accommodated by the deeper harbor will save U.S. producers and retailers $282 million per year in transportation expenses. The study found that every dollar spent on construction will yield $7.30 in benefits.

Because the project will have such a large positive effect on the nation’s economy, SHEP has received significant federal support. In the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2020, $130.3 million is devoted to SHEP, while another $28.6 million in maintenance and operations funding is going toward Savannah River maintenance dredging.

“I would like to thank Sen. David Perdue, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Congressman Buddy Carter for their work to ensure sufficient funding to improve this vital federal waterway,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “I would also like to thank the many staff members across the Corps of Engineers, and particularly at the Savannah District. Their efforts are recognized and appreciated by Savannah’s entire maritime community.”

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GPA commissions first nine Mason Mega Rail tracks

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More than 2.2 million staff hours have gone into the planning and construction of the Port of Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail Terminal thus far. The Georgia Ports Authority will commission its first two rail-mounted gantry crane in June.

SAVANNAH TO EXPAND RAIL CAPACITY TO 2M TEUS

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 28, 2020– Georgia Ports Authority’s Mason Mega Rail project, in the works for more than four years and designed to expand service to the Southeast and Midwestern U.S., has passed a major milestone. GPA has put into operation the first nine of 18 new working tracks, with its first two rail-mounted gantry cranes to be commissioned in June.

“At the Port of Savannah, we are working to improve the efficiency of the American supply chain and move goods to market even faster,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “These efforts are strengthening our logistics network at a time when the nation needs it most.”

Lynch said the project would not have been possible without a generous grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration.

“On behalf of the Authority, I would like to thank Admiral Mark Buzby at MARAD for his support of our vision for the Mega Rail terminal,” Lynch said. “We are also grateful for the leadership of Gov. Brian Kemp, and to the Georgia Congressional delegation, particularly Sen. David Perdue, former Sen. Johnny Isakson and Congressman Buddy Carter for their unwavering support throughout the grant application process and implementation of this critical project.”

See a video update from GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch here.

He noted that throughout the COVID-19 crisis, dedicated GPA employees and contract workers have continued to press forward, with a daily average of more than 150 people working on the rail expansion, and more than 2.2 million staff hours expended in planning and construction since late 2015.

“Additionally, throughout all this work and the issues related to the coronavirus, GPA and our partners at the International Longshoremen’s Association have continued to provide world-class service to our customers,” Lynch said.

The project will include 18 working tracks for improved efficiency moving containers from trains to trucks.

“The Mason Mega Rail Terminal is an incredible example of the federal government and the port authority working together to keep America’s commerce moving ahead,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Even during this crisis, the disciplined effort involved has been a testament to the vital importance we all place on this nationally significant project.”

The expansion will use an estimated $38 million of American-made steel, McKnight added. The project has so far installed 56,000 feet of new track, but will include a total of 129,000 feet when complete – or nearly 24.5 miles.

In a related development, a new overpass on State Road 25 is nearing completion. This new route will carry road traffic over eight tracks linking the current Chatham Yard on the south side of Garden City Terminal with the Mason Mega Rail site to the northwest. The overpass is expected to open in August.

The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s rail capacity to 2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units per year. The added capacity will allow GPA to take on new business in a broader service area, reaching well into the U.S. Midwest.

Lynch thanked Savannah’s two Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, for providing  a competitive option for moving cargo to a Mid-American Arc of cities ranging from Memphis to Chicago. Garden City Terminal averages only 24 hours between vessel discharge and intermodal train departure. Rail transit from Savannah to Memphis provides cargo availability in just 56 hours.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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Port of Savannah up 17 percent in February

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Vessel operations, terminal services and Monday-Friday truck gate hours continue as normal at Georgia’s ports. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

GEORGIA TERMINALS CONTINUE TO MOVE CARGO AMID COVID-19 CRISIS

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 23, 2020  The Port of Savannah achieved its busiest February ever last month, handling 364,405 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 17 percent over the same month last year.

Although March volumes are expected to dip due to the impact of COVID-19 compared to March 2019, all terminals remain open for business, with normal vessel operations, terminal services, and Monday-Friday truck gate hours.

“We are thankful for the confidence our customers continue to show in Georgia’s reliable transportation networks, amid such uncertainty in the market,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority. “The strong fundamentals at the deepwater ports of Savannah and Brunswick have fueled powerful expansions in our cargo volumes and market share; they will also help us to weather the current storm related to coronavirus disruptions.”

To help GPA prepare for the future, the Port of Savannah received three additional ship-to-shore cranes this month, bringing Garden City Terminal’s total fleet to 36. In addition, other efforts include the Mason Mega Rail project, which will double Savannah’s rail capacity; and the recent acquisition of 145 acres contiguous to Garden City Terminal, which will increase the terminal’s footprint to more than 1,300 acres and add more than 1 million TEUs in annual capacity.

“The Authority’s forward thinking means our ports will be well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities when they arise,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Savannah is poised to lead the U.S. East Coast and the nation as we recover from the present downturn.”

For the fiscal year to date, 3.1 million TEUs have crossed the docks at Garden City Terminal, up 4 percent. As the nation’s third busiest gateway for containerized trade, Savannah now handles more than one in five containers crossing U.S. East Coast docks.

In his report to the board Monday, Lynch described current efforts to keep cargo flowing during the COVID-19 crisis, that include adding new capacity for container storage, allowing some workers to telecommute, and strict observance of CDC and state of Georgia policies to prevent the spread of the virus.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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GPA adds new container storage space

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New space devoted to loaded container storage at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal will give customers an additional 400,000 TEUs of annual container handling capacity. (Georgia Ports Authority)

 

 

DELIVERS NEW FLEXIBILITY TO PORT CUSTOMERS

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 19, 2020 – The Port of Savannah is bringing online 400,000 TEUs of annual container capacity at just the time when many port customers are seeking new storage options.

“With slowing demand related to the coronavirus, port users need space to stage their cargo until that demand returns,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “With these new container stack areas, Savannah is delivering the flexibility our customers need.”

GPA recently added container slots totaling nearly 5,000 TEUs of space to its operation. By mid-April, more than 6,000 TEUs of capacity will go into service, for a total of 11,130 TEUs of new container stacking space. These additions will increase Savannah’s annual capacity by 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units, for a new total capacity of 6 million TEUs per year.

“Our terminals continue to function with operational ease and efficiency,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “From time to time, spikes in demand occur because of new customer needs or other factors impacting the global supply chain. Through the Authority’s steady investment in capacity, GPA is able to handle unexpected surges in container yard demand, whatever the cause.”

At 1,345 acres, the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the largest single-operator container terminal in North America. Its nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous dock space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This allows greater scheduling flexibility for the 36 container ship services that call on the Port of Savannah. Garden City Terminal also features on-terminal rail service from CSX and Norfolk Southern, three major truck gates and 50 truck lanes.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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New arrivals bring Savannah’s crane fleet to 36

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The cargo ship BigLift Barentsz sails past historic River Street to the Port of Savannah with three new Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. When fully assembled, the cranes will stand 295 tall, with booms reaching 22 containers across. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

 

MOST CRANES OF ANY NORTH AMERICAN TERMINAL

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 11, 2020 – The Port of Savannah received three Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes on Tuesday, bringing its total to 36, more than any other single terminal in North America.

“Along with dock improvements at Garden City Terminal, our growing crane fleet will allow Savannah to serve four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously by 2023,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We’re already moving containers from vessel to rail in 24 hours, and these investments will help to ensure cargo fluidity as our business grows.”

The new cranes, designed by Konecranes of Finland, will immediately undergo a commissioning process. The first new crane will go into service in approximately 12 weeks, and all three will be loading and unloading vessels by the end of June.

“The decision to invest in these cranes was made two and a half years ago to meet growing cargo demands,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “By adding new capacity on our docks, Savannah’s position as the Southeast’s cargo hub will continue to attract new customers, additional market share and new opportunities for growth.”

In December 2019, three additional cranes arrived in Savannah. Among the largest working the nation’s ports today, the new cranes tower 295 feet above the docks when fully raised and assembled.

Of the cranes that arrived in December, the first is already in use. The second crane is in its final commissioning phase and should be in use in the third week of March. The boom of the third crane was raised last week, and should be in operation by April.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017. 

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

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GPA unveils major expansions

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New terminals, big ship berth space in the works  
   
 
 
 
Recently, the Port of Savannah’s 30 cranes were busy working seven vessels simultaneously along Garden City Terminal’s 10,000-foot dock. At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Tuesday, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch laid out a plan for expanding the port’s capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority/Jeremy Polston)
SEA ISLAND, Ga., Feb. 4, 2020- At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Tuesday, Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, announced the acquisition of 145 contiguous acres to the Port of Savannah, or more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in annual capacity.
 
“As the Georgia Ports Authority enters its 75th year, we are proud to follow in the tradition of those who came before us, making exciting advances in capacity and technology to ensure our terminals remain at the forefront of global commerce,” Lynch said. “This is the largest addition of container terminal space in Savannah in more than 20 years, and represents a powerful opportunity for Georgia to take on new trade.”
 
During his presentation, Lynch also announced that Garden City Terminal dock construction had been completed, and can now serve three 14,000-TEU vessels, and up to eight vessels simultaneously.
 
The improved dock and additional container yard space are part of a larger blueprint to increase the GPA’s capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030. By 2023, the GPA will add an additional berth, for a total of four big ship vessel slots.
 
“The expansion at our deepwater ports in both Savannah and Brunswick is helping to fuel growth, and in turn investment, jobs and increased competitiveness on the global stage,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “With the kind of investment and infrastructure development announced today, Georgia’s ports will undoubtedly stay ahead of the curve and the competition.”
 
In order to improve service, Savannah’s Ocean Terminal will be partially converted to handle containers. Renovations at Ocean Terminal, located just downriver from the main container port, will include a new truck gate, upgraded container yards and rubber-tired gantry cranes for container operations.
 
“This exciting new development will allow the GPA to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers,” Lynch said.
 
Construction is currently under way on the upgrades. Phase I of the Ocean Terminal container yard is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
 
Lynch also outlined plans for the new Savannah Container Terminal, a nearly 200-acre facility to be built on Hutchinson Island. The new facility will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs when fully developed. Phase I is projected to come online in 2025.
 
To ensure the GPA remains on the cutting edge of port staffing and technology, Lynch announced an expansion of the Authority’s Y.E.S (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) program, in which high school graduates are hired and trained for equipment operator careers. GPA hopes to begin hiring 50 recent graduates per year to help meet staffing needs.
 
Lynch also unveiled Tuesday a new program, dubbed GET SET (Sustainability, Efficiency, Technology).
 
“The GET SET program is a competitive juried contest for college students in Georgia, in which they will be challenged to put forth innovative solutions to issues faced by the maritime logistics community,” Lynch said. “Students or student teams submitting winning entries will receive a cash prize totaling $25,000.”
 
He said the Authority will be working with universities across the state to integrate the GET SET program into their curricula over the next year, with the first prize being awarded in the summer of 2021.
 
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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GPA unveils major expansions

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The Port of Savannah moved a record 4.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in Calendar Year 2019. (Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

NEW TERMINALS, BIG SHIP BERTH SPACE IN THE WORKS

SEA ISLAND, Ga., Feb. 4, 2020– At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Tuesday, Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, announced the acquisition of 145 contiguous acres to the Port of Savannah, or more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in annual capacity.

“As the Georgia Ports Authority enters its 75th year, we are proud to follow in the tradition of those who came before us, making exciting advances in capacity and technology to ensure our terminals remain at the forefront of global commerce,”

Lynch said. “This is the largest addition of container terminal space in Savannah in more than 20 years, and represents a powerful opportunity for Georgia to take on new trade.”

During his presentation, Lynch also announced that Garden City Terminal dock construction had been completed, and can now serve three 14,000-TEU vessels, and up to eight vessels simultaneously.

The improved dock and additional container yard space are part of a larger blueprint to increase the GPA’s capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030. By 2023, the GPA will add an additional berth, for a total of four big ship vessel slots.

“The expansion at our deepwater ports in both Savannah and Brunswick is helping to fuel growth, and in turn investment, jobs and increased competitiveness on the global stage,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “With the kind of investment and infrastructure development announced today, Georgia’s ports will undoubtedly stay ahead of the curve and the competition.”

In order to improve service, Savannah’s Ocean Terminal will be partially converted to handle containers. Renovations at Ocean Terminal, located just downriver from the main container port, will include a new truck gate, upgraded container yards and rubber-tired gantry cranes for container operations.

“This exciting new development will allow the GPA to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers,” Lynch said.

Construction is currently under way on the upgrades. Phase I of the Ocean Terminal container yard is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Lynch also outlined plans for the new Savannah Container Terminal, a nearly 200-acre facility to be built on Hutchinson Island. The new facility will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs when fully developed. Phase I is projected to come online in 2025.

To ensure the GPA remains on the cutting edge of port staffing and technology, Lynch announced an expansion of the Authority’s Y.E.S (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) program, in which high school graduates are hired and trained for equipment operator careers. GPA hopes to begin hiring 50 recent graduates per year to help meet staffing needs.

Lynch also unveiled Tuesday a new program, dubbed GET SET (Sustainability, Efficiency, Technology).

“The GET SET program is a competitive juried contest for college students in Georgia, in which they will be challenged to put forth innovative solutions to issues faced by the maritime logistics community,” Lynch said. “Students or student teams submitting winning entries will receive a cash prize totaling $25,000.”

He said the Authority will be working with universities across the state to integrate the GET SET program into their curricula over the next year, with the first prize being awarded in the summer of 2021.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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Kemp kicks off Georgia Foreign Trade Conference

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp touted the deepwater ports of Savannah and Brunswick as magnets for economic development in his address Monday to the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference. The Georgia Ports Authority handled 4.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units and 38.5 million tons of cargo in Calendar Year 2019. Find print quality photos here. (Georgia Ports Authority/Emily Goldman)

Logistics industry ‘a strong economic driver’

SEA ISLAND, Ga., Feb. 3, 2020– Gov. Brian Kemp kicked off the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Monday, highlighting the state and nation’s continued strength in global trade.

“With low unemployment, strong consumer confidence and a new trade deal with China that has already resulted in new poultry exports, Georgia is poised to be a bright spot for the nation in the coming year,” Kemp said. “In 2020, we expect port activity, and the logistics industry in general, to remain a strong economic driver, and an important support network for farms and factories across the state.”

Prior to a 2015 Chinese ban on U.S. poultry, the market represented $500 million in annual sales for U.S. producers. According to the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, today the market for chicken feet alone amounts to $835 million per year for U.S. companies.

“As the nation’s largest poultry producer, Georgia stands to recapture a substantial portion of the Chinese market,” Kemp said. “Forty percent of all frozen poultry that leaves the United States does so through the Port of Savannah.”

The first shipment of poultry – 50,000 pounds of Georgia-produced chicken feet – arrived in China in January. The governor added that cotton, animal feed, grain, peanuts and pecans, among other Georgia exports also stand to benefit from the Phase I trade deal with China, signed Jan. 15.

“Strong negotiations with China have paid off and present a substantial opportunity for producers in Georgia,” he said.

Farm products are not the only promising export commodity for Georgia.  Kemp recounted his April visit to the Port of Savannah to announce the decision by Plastic Express to build two 1 million square-foot facilities to handle plastic resin exports via Garden City Terminal.

“Construction is complete on the first building for Plastic Express at the Port Logistics Center in Pooler,” Kemp said. “That one company is bringing 166 new jobs and $172 million in investment to our state.”

Along with resin packager A&R Logistics’ decision to establish its global logistics center at the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub, resins represent a promising market opportunity for Georgia.

“The outlook for growth through our deepwater terminals in Savannah and Brunswick remains strong,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “In just two projects announced last year, resin handlers Plastic Express and A&R Logistics will add hundreds of jobs to the Savannah area, nearly 3 million square feet of warehousing, and more than 90,000 TEUs of cargo annually through Garden City Terminal.”

McKnight also noted the Georgia Ports Authority wrapped up a strong Calendar Year 2019, moving a record 4.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units and 38.5 million tons of cargo.

The 52nd annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference runs through Feb. 4. The conference showcases Georgia’s benefits to hundreds of attendees from senior level shippers to maritime executives, senior managers and decision-makers representing maritime logistics, railroads, motor carriers, warehousing, cargo owners and other stakeholders critical to the movement of international freight.

“Presenters at this year’s event include some of the top minds in global logistics today, addressing the key challenges and market opportunities our industry will face over the next decade,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Through networking and formal sessions, the GFTC gives logistics professionals a chance to learn from the best in the business.”

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

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

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