Georgia Ports Authority announces sale of revenue bonds

 

revenue bonds

REVENUE BONDS TO FUND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AT THE PORT OF SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct. 5, 2021 – The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has announced plans to issue via public offering approximately $425 million in revenue bonds to fund infrastructure projects at the Port of Savannah.

The bonds are tentatively set to be offered for sale during the week of Oct. 18. The GPA expects to post the preliminary official statement and investor presentation with respect to the bonds on or about Friday, Oct. 8.

The bonds will fund capital improvements to expand GPA’s capacity to serve the largest vessels calling on the U.S. East Coast, and to better handle the growth GPA expects in its long-term forecast. Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the largest single-operator container terminal in the nation and the hub port for the southeastern U.S.

The bonds will be offered by a syndicate led by senior manager BofA Securities, Inc., with Academy Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC, and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association as co-managers.

The size, timing and structure of the bond issue is subject to market conditions, and the GPA reserves the right to change or modify its plans as it deems appropriate. There is no guarantee the anticipated transaction will be commenced or completed.

This notice does not constitute a recommendation or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument, including the bonds, or to adopt any investment strategy. Any offer or solicitation with respect to the bonds will be made solely by means of the preliminary and final official statement relating to such bonds, which will describe the actual terms of the bonds. Persons interested in additional information regarding the bonds should contact one of the firms listed or their investments broker or advisor.

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 add 1.6M TEUs of capacity

 

busiest month Peak Capacity Project
The Peak Capacity Project, foreground, is currently under construction and will provide 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units of annual capacity at the Port of Savannah. The project will be completed in two phases, with the first coming online in December. See drone video of the construction site here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

AUGUST SECOND BUSIEST MONTH IN GPA HISTORY

 SAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 28, 2021 – On the heels of reporting the second busiest month in its history, the Georgia Ports Authority Board approved more than $34 million to help expedite an additional 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in capacity that will begin coming online in December.

“In three months, this investment will begin to deliver the additional capacity we need to better accommodate increased volumes and demand for our services,” said Griff Lynch, executive director for the GPA. “I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their confidence in our ability to grow our existing terminals; our customers for sticking with us and, in many cases, increasing their commitment to Georgia’s ports; and to the men and women working throughout the supply chain, and especially GPA’s employees, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication during unprecedented times in our industry.”

Part of the approved expenditures included the purchase of 22.2 acres adjacent to GPA’s 145-acre West Expansion property. The board also provided funds to begin developing another 18 acres of land adjacent to GPA’s 60-acre Peak Capacity project, currently under construction. In total, the developments will add 230 acres of container handling space, coming online in phases with full completion in 2023.

“The GPA’s expansion strategy will not only maintain Savannah’s position as the hub port of the U.S. Southeast, but strengthen its ability to drive economic growth and private investment for communities across Georgia,” said Joel Wooten, GPA’s chairman of the board. “In light of unprecedented demand, it is incumbent on the Board to maintain our ports to promote job growth for the state.”

The Port of Savannah handled 485,595 TEUs in August, an increase of 10 percent, or 44,000 TEUs over the same month last year, which was the previous high for August. It was the second busiest month in GPA history, after only March 2021, when Garden City Terminal handled 498,000 TEUs.

Wooten also welcomed Leda Chong who was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to GPA’s Board of Directors last week. Chong is senior vice president for Government Programs & Sales at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. She previously served as senior vice president of Asia Pacific for Gulfstream and was responsible for business development, strategic planning, and government relations within the Asia-Pacific region for both Gulfstream and the aerospace business group of General Dynamics, Gulfstream’s parent company. Chong joined General Dynamics in 2007 as a director of Government Relations and was appointed staff vice president of Government Relations in 2009. Prior to joining General Dynamics, Chong served in the U.S. Navy, retiring in the rank of Commander. She is a native of Hong Kong and fluent in Chinese. Chong graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, San Diego, with degrees in applied mathematics and French literature.

Board members Jimmy Allgood and Douglas Hertz were reappointed by Gov. Kemp.

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 moves 5M TEUs

Mega Rail Terminal and Cargo Hub Growth

The Port of Savannah was the first container terminal in the Southeast or Gulf Coast to move
5 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in a fiscal year. 
(Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

CONTAINER HUB GROWING CAPACITY AND CONTINUED GROWTH

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., July 26, 2021 – For the first time in its history, the Port of Savannah has moved 5.3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, growth in cargo volumes by 20 percent in FY2021, or nearly 900,000 TEUs compared to the previous year. 

“American companies continue to choose the Port of Savannah as a critical gateway to global trade,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “Our ports play a major role in Georgia being named the number one state for business eight years in a row. I am thankful to GPA for their great work over the past year to grow Georgia’s trading capacity and expand our world-class business environment.”

Incoming GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten thanked previous Chairman Will McKnight and Gov. Kemp for their leadership during a challenging year, as well as the partners and customers who helped Georgia Ports achieve record growth.

“GPA leadership, our employees and our partners across the logistics community put in tremendous effort to make this milestone possible,” Wooten said. “Growing our business by 20 percent in a single year is an amazing accomplishment and secures Savannah’s position as the fastest growing gateway in the nation over the past 10 years.”

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said the Savannah Harbor deepening, the Mason Mega Rail terminal and other capacity enhancements are not only preparing GPA for the present influx of cargo, but also for future demand.  

“A major strength for the Port of Savannah is its ability to respond to the needs of customers as they expand their positions in Georgia,” Lynch said. “As port users continue to route additional cargo to Georgia, we are bullish on the future. We have an abundance of near-port property available for development, and GPA is right now adding millions of TEUs of additional capacity in Savannah.”

GPA’s trade in autos and heavy machinery also saw significant growth. Roll-on/Roll-off volumes reached 703,528 units crossing all GPA docks in FY2021, with the Port of Brunswick alone handling more than 685,000 units of vehicles and heavy machinery. Total Ro/Ro volume grew by 18 percent over the previous fiscal year, or an additional 106,150 units.

 

Highlights from the fiscal year include:

  • A 14 percent increase in total rail volumes at Garden City Terminal, up 68,000 lifts to a total of nearly 550,000 rail lifts on the year. At the Appalachian Regional Port, rail lifts grew by nearly 26 percent, an increase of 7,000, for an annual total of more than 34,000 lifts.
  • GPA added 210,000 TEUs of capacity at the Port of Savannah through expanded container handling space and equipment at Ocean Terminal.
  • The 16,000-TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo, the largest container ship to ever serve the U.S. East Coast, called on Garden City Terminal, Wednesday, May 26.
  • The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is now nearly 90 percent complete. The project should wrap up in December 2021. With a high-tide depth of 54 feet, the deeper harbor will allow vessels in the 16,000+ TEU range to take on heavier loads with fewer tidal restrictions.
  • GPA’s $220 million Mason Mega Rail project is nearly By the end of 2021, GPA will commission the second set of nine new working tracks. Mason Mega Rail will increase rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year.
  • Despite the pandemic interrupting supply chains, the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Economic Development won $8.43 billion in investment and more than 24,000 jobs in just the first three quarters of FY2021.

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.

10 consecutive months of positive year-over-year growth in Savannah

 

Growth in Savannah

GPA ACCELERATES EXPANSION AND HIRING EFFORTS – Growth in Savannah

 
SAVANNAH, Ga., June 10, 2021 — The Port of Savannah handled 478,620 twenty-foot equivalent container units in May, an increase of 41.9 percent compared to last year. It was the second busiest month in the port’s history, and the 10th consecutive month of positive year-over-year growth in Savannah.
 
“Georgia’s deepwater ports are thriving, and that’s good news for a wide range of industries,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “Thanks to conservative leadership and the fact that we never really shut down Georgia businesses during the pandemic, the Peach State’s economy is rebounding quickly. From logistics to manufacturing and retail, the ripple effect of booming trade at the ports of Savannah and Brunswick means business opportunity and job growth for hardworking Georgians.”
 
Port officials said the facilities saw a fast recovery from the global economic downturn of 2020.
 
“Last year, at this time, we were uncertain of the road ahead and expecting a double-digit loss in business,” said outgoing Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board Chairman Will McKnight. “To see how the GPA team and our supply chain partners have turned things around to achieve a string of the most successful months ever speaks volumes for this world-class workforce.”
 
For the fiscal year to date (June through May), GPA has moved nearly 4.9 million TEUs, putting it on pace to surpass 5 million TEUs for the first time. Total cargo crossing all GPA docks reached 3.8 million tons last month, up 26 percent, or 781,121 tons. Rail volumes for the month grew 28 percent, or approximately 12,029 lifts, for a total of 54,436 containers.
 
“We believe managing the new cargo that’s coming our way benefits the economy, jumpstarts economic development and sustains long-term growth,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We are encouraged by the Board’s support as we advance our strategic plan to ensure we absorb this growth more effectively in the future.”
 
To keep up with this unprecedented growth, GPA has accelerated its hiring efforts, bringing on nearly 150 new employees since January 2021. Many of these employees are being trained in jockey trucks, yard cranes and other equipment to handle growth at GPA’s facilities. 
 
“Our Board will continue to invest in Georgia Ports’ most important resource – our employees,” said incoming GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “We also remain committed to enhancing GPA facilities to sustain our communities for years to come.”
 
GPA’s trade in vehicles and machinery units also soared last month, growing by 48,830 units, or 347 percent, for a total of 62,873 units. The auto industry was hit particularly hard during COVID-19 as many manufacturers faced plant closures and supply chain disruptions. “We expect strong growth to continue in autos and machinery as manufacturers return to normal operations,” 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. 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.

Savannah serves largest vessel ever, the 16,000+ TEU Marco Polo

EXPANDING BERTH CAPACITY TO HANDLE ADDITIONAL BIG SHIPS

The Port of Savannah served the CMA CGM Marco Polo, utilizing recent berth expansions, the largest vessel to ever call the U.S. East Coast, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The vessel has a carrying capacity of more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units. Featuring nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous dock space, 30 ship-to-shore cranes, and 1,345 acres of container yard space, the Port of SavannahÕs Garden City Terminal is perfectly suited to handling vessels in the 16,000-TEU class. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)
The Port of Savannah served the CMA CGM Marco Polo, the largest vessel to ever call the U.S. East Coast, on
Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The vessel has a carrying capacity of more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent
container units. Featuring nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous dock space, 30 ship-to-shore cranes, and 1,345
acres of container yard space, the Port of SavannahÕs Garden City Terminal is perfectly suited to handling
vessels in the 16,000-TEU class. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 26, 2021 – The largest container ship to ever serve the U.S. East Coast called on the largest single container facility in North America Wednesday. As the massive 16,000-TEU vessel docked at the Port of Savannah’s Berth 9, a team of logistics professionals tackled the CMA CGM Marco Polo with seven ship-to-shore cranes and hundreds of men and women on the ground and aboard the vessel to load and unload an estimated 6,000 TEUs of cargo.

“In my seven years serving on the port authority board, it has been gratifying to see Savannah step up to the plate and increase its capacity, infrastructure and workforce to accommodate massive vessels like the Marco Polo,” said outgoing GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight, who boarded the vessel at the mouth of the Savannah River with the pilots who guided the ship along the channel. “There is a reason Garden City Terminal has become the hub for global commerce in the Southeastern U.S: 30 cranes, nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous dock space, and a 1,345-acre container yard.”

With the longest single container terminal dock in the U.S., GPA was scheduled to work five other vessels simultaneous to the CMA CGM Marco Polo on Wednesday.

“At CMA CGM, we are dedicated to providing solutions for our customers. The deployment of the CMA CGM Marco Polo is yet another indicator of our flexibility and commitment to delivering the essentials that keep America moving,” said Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM America and APL North America. “It is also important to mention that this milestone would not be possible without the efforts of our port partners on the East Coast. Their intelligent, timely infrastructure improvements to support larger ships make it possible for us to proactively respond to the needs of our customers.”

To expand the Port of Savannah’s ability to serve vessels in the Marco Polo’s class, GPA has started construction to straighten a bend at Berth 1 of Garden City Terminal. This will allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels, as well as three additional ships. Berth 1 renovations will add an estimated 1 million TEUs per year of berth capacity by 2023.

“We appreciate the trust CMA CGM places in the Port of Savannah to effectively serve these big ships, and to expedite cargo to and from inland markets spanning from Dallas to Memphis and into the Midwest,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Cargo fluidity is key to providing world-class service to shipping line and cargo owner customers, which is why we are also doubling our rail capacity at Garden City Terminal.”

The CMA CGM Marco Polo, built in 2012, is 1,300 feet long – or more than four football fields – and more than 175 feet wide. The vessel is deployed on the AWE3/Columbus service, which connects the U.S. East Coast and Asia via the Suez Canal, with cross-Pacific links to the U.S. West Coast. The AWE3/Columbus service includes 19 vessels ranging in size from 10,000 TEUs to 16,000 TEUs.

In other improvements to better accommodate big ships, the GPA Board approved in November the purchase of eight new ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will replace six older models, bringing Savannah’s fleet to 38. The eight taller cranes are timed to arrive in 2023, coinciding with the completion of the Berth 1 renovations.

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 Board elects new officers

 

GPA Board elects new officers
The Georgia Ports Authority achieved its busiest April on record last month, handling 466,633 twenty-foot equivalent container units and 3.7 million tons of total cargo. (Georgia Ports Authority)

PORT OF SAVANNAH MOVES 466,000 TEUS IN APRIL

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., May 24, 2021 – Today, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) board elected new officers for the coming fiscal year and reported a 38 percent increase in container trade for the month of April.

Joel Wooten will serve as chairman, Kent Fountain as vice chairman, and Alec Poitevint as secretary-treasurer. “Joel Wooten’s eight-year tenure on the GPA board, as well as his leadership across business, law and education make him an excellent choice to continue guiding the ports of Savannah and Brunswick through the current phase of phenomenal growth,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “Along with his fellow board members and the rest of the leadership team at GPA, I am confident Georgia’s deepwater ports are in good hands.”

Wooten and Fountain’s election represents an advancement from their previous positions of vice chairman and secretary-treasurer, respectively. Poitevint, a former GPA board chairman, was serving as a member prior to becoming the Authority’s next secretary-treasurer.

“Kent and Alec’s experience and understanding will continue to be valuable assets as we prepare to accommodate the higher volumes we expect to move in the future,” said Wooten. “As a board, we are focused on delivering a world-class customer experience, and attracting new business and jobs to Georgia.”

Wooten noted that outgoing Chairman Will McKnight presided over a period of major growth during his two years at the helm. Annual container trade has increased from 4.4 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in Fiscal Year 2020 to an expected 5.2 million TEUs by the end of FY2021 (July 1-June 30) – a new record.

“The Georgia Ports Authority, as an organization, has truly answered the call over the past two years,” said McKnight. “I could not be prouder of our employees and partners, who have done outstanding work to support the needs of the U.S. economy.”

Also at the meeting, GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch reported the Port of Savannah handled 466,633 TEUs in April, its second-busiest month on record, after March’s 498,000 TEUs. The Port of Savannah’s April container trade represented an increase of 38 percent, or more than 128,700 TEUs compared to the same month last year.

“Demand for products and services both domestically and abroad is driving significant gains in Georgia’s cargo volumes. The supply chain continues to experience unprecedented increases due to the reopening of the local, regional and national economies,” Lynch said. “We could not have achieved such phenomenal growth without the dedication of our GPA employees and the collaboration of our supply chain partners.”

The rate of growth in intermodal rail lifts at Garden City Terminal slightly outpaced overall container growth, increasing by 39 percent (13,500 lifts), for a total of 48,000 twenty- and forty-foot containers. GPA’s intermodal trade accounted for more than 87,000 TEUs in April. To handle its expanding rail trade, the GPA will complete its Mason Mega Rail Terminal this year, doubling its annual rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs. When complete, it will be the largest on-terminal rail facility for a port in North America.

April trade in Roll-on/Roll-off cargo expanded by 50 percent (21,200 units) at the Port of Brunswick, where Colonel’s Island Terminal moved 63,440 units of cars, trucks and heavy machinery. For the fiscal year to date, Colonel’s Island has handled 570,260 units, up by 10 percent or 52,000 vehicles.

GPA BOARD OFFICER BIOS

Joel O. Wooten 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 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.

Alec Poitevint is the chairman and president of Southeastern Minerals, Inc. and its affiliated companies headquartered in Bainbridge. Poitevint is a past chairman of Georgia Ports Authority, having previously served the Authority from 2007-2016. He is also a former president, vice-chairman and director of First Port City Bank of Bainbridge. He is past chairman of the American Feed Industry Association and National Feed Ingredients Association. He serves as a director of the Georgia Agribusiness Council and was Federal Commissioner of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Water Compact. Poitevint was a former mission member of the U.S. Agricultural Trade and Development Mission to Europe in 1990 and U.S. Delegate to the World Food Summit in 2002.

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 details capacity, operations expansion

Georgia Port Authority's expansion of both capacity and capability at the ports, fuels  greater economic recovery and more jobs in Savannah .
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp addresses the opening session of the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Monday, April 26, 2021. Kemp said Georgia’s ports are a key factor in winning new business for the state. Find print-quality images and online resources here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Emily Goldman)

 

PROJECTS TO ACCOMMODATE RECORD VOLUMES

SAVANNAH, Ga., April 26, 2021 – At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference (GFTC), the Georgia Ports Authority released fiscal year to date numbers (July -March) showing record volumes of 3.9 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 15 percent, and detailed a plan that expedites completion of more than 1.4 million additional TEUs of annual capacity.

“As one of our most important assets for economic development, our ports play an important role in driving employment and opportunity for communities in every corner of the Peach State,” said Gov. Brian Kemp, who addressed the opening session of the GFTC. “Expansion of both capacity and capability at the Port of Savannah will help fuel our continued economic recovery, which is excellent news for hardworking Georgians employed across a wide range of industries.”

GPA operations expansion  efforts include the Peak Capacity project, which will add 650,000 TEUs of annual container yard capacity in two phases at Garden City Terminal, with the first phase opening in five months.

Another main component of the expansion plan is the development of 92 acres GPA purchased last year adjacent to the Mason Mega Rail Terminal. Housing approximately 40 rubber-tired gantry cranes and adding 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity, the development will be commissioned within two years.

“I am proud of how our team has not only handled unprecedented cargo volume, but simultaneously advanced long-term capacity enhancements that existed only on paper into fully-funded projects that will begin coming online this September,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

In addition to these projects, Lynch detailed a plan to add a transloading facility on a 90-acre parcel just upriver from Garden City Terminal. He said a cross-docking warehouse will be completed in 15 months, served by a yard with nine RTG cranes and an annual capacity of 400,000 TEUs. The new expansion will also improve availability of chassis and empty containers at Garden City Terminal.

“The long-term success of the port is tied to staying ahead of the growth curve,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Once again, the team has risen to the occasion and developed an excellent plan to keep pace with customers who have determined that Georgia is the best state in the country to do business.”

Since November, the Georgia Ports Authority Board has approved $305 million in projects to increase Savannah’s annual TEU capacity from 5.4 million to 6.8 million.

GPA has also started construction to straighten a bend at Berth 1 of Garden City Terminal, to allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels, as well as three additional ships. Berth 1 renovations will add an estimated 1 million TEUs per year of berth capacity by June 2023.

Long-term plans call for a new GPA terminal on Hutchinson Island. At full build-out, Savannah Container Terminal will provide 2.7 million TEUs of capacity.

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’s March container trade leaps 48 percent

Mega Rail Terminal
The Georgia Ports Authority handled record volume in March, with total tonnage across all terminals increasing by 26.9 percent, or nearly 860,000 tons, to more than 4 million tons. GPA has approved projects to increase annual capacity at the Port of Savannah by 1.4 million twenty-foot equivalent container units. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Authority / Jeremy Polston)

 

Intermodal rail posts significant gains

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., April 15, 2021 — The Port of Savannah handled an all-time record of nearly 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units in March, an increase of more than 48 percent, or 162,275 TEUs, compared to the same month in 2020.

“Every new container that moves through the Port of Savannah means new jobs for Georgia,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “The port and the entire logistics community continue to serve as an economic engine for Coastal Georgia and the entire state as we accelerate our economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This record-setting month proves that Georgia is open for business!”

Counting the 498,000 TEUs moved in March, GPA wrapped up the third quarter with a fiscal year-to-date (July-March) total of 3.9 million TEUs, on track to top 5 million for the first time ever in a single year.

“Over the past six months, unprecedented volumes have crossed our docks, but Georgia’s logistics community and GPA’s employees have risen to the occasion by working long hours and bringing on additional staff,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “To ensure our vessel operations and terminal services continue to keep pace with our growth, GPA is expediting a series of infrastructure projects from berth and container yard improvements to the expansion of intermodal rail.”

GPA’s Mason Mega Rail Terminal –

GPA’s Mason Mega Rail Terminal volumes grew by 29.7 percent in March, moving an additional 10,924 containers for a total of 47,684. At the Appalachian Regional Port, intermodal lifts increased 37.7 percent for the month, up by 761 containers compared to March 2020, for a total of 2,782 containers.

“Last month’s performance constitutes a massive turn-around from the same period a year ago,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “The Board’s decision to invest more than $100 million per year over the next three years will not only make Savannah better able to handle this new level of trade, but to take on additional business as our customers grow.”

Over the coming months, GPA will add container yard space and rail capacity, as well as growing its big ship service capabilities and crane fleet. By September, GPA will commission Phase I of a project that will add a total of 650,000 TEUs of space at Garden City Terminal. A separate project adding 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity will open for operation in 2023.

Also this year, the second set of nine new working tracks will begin serving customers at the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, increasing GPA’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year.

To enhance its vessel services, GPA will straighten a bend at Garden City Terminal’s Berth 1. By 2023, the Port of Savannah will be able to simultaneously serve four 15,000-TEU vessels as well as three additional ships. In the same time frame, GPA is adding eight new ship-to-shore cranes to work the larger vessels, bringing its total fleet to 38.

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 makes major infrastructure investment

Growing container capacity beyond 6M TEUs
The Georgia Ports Authority has approved projects to increase annual capacity at the Port of Savannah beyond 6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units. In 2020, the Port of Savannah handled 4.7 million TEUs of cargo. (Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

Growing container capacity beyond 6M TEUs

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 29, 2021 – On Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority Board approved capital improvement projects that will increase the Port of Savannah’s container capacity by 20 percent.

“Right now, we are moving container volumes that we did not expect to see for another four years,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our employees are working very hard to ensure we continue to provide our customers with world-class service. Additionally, we are expediting capacity projects that will increase the speed and fluidity of cargo handling at the Port of Savannah.”

The board approved a terminal enhancement dubbed the Peak Capacity project, which will establish 2,100 new grounded container slots. The project will add 650,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units of annual container yard capacity in two phases, with the first opening in September.

“Georgia’s container trade has experienced unprecedented growth over the past six months,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight“This addition is among several that will address the needs of port users experiencing a sharp increase in demand, while also preparing Savannah to take on additional business over the long term.”

In its busiest February ever, the Port of Savannah moved 390,804 TEUs of cargo, an increase of 7.2 percent, or 26,400 TEUs compared to February 2020. Between September and February, GPA handled 2.64 million TEUs, an increase of nearly 375,000, or 16.5 percent, compared to the same six-month period a year ago. “In terms of cargo volumes, we’ve added the equivalent of an extra month of trade since September,” Lynch said.

In addition to the Peak Capacity project, the board approved a Berth 1 renovation that will increase berth capacity by an estimated 1 million TEUs per year by June 2023. This will bring Garden City Terminal’s new total to 6 Million TEUs of annual berth capacity.

Higher volumes moving through the Port of Savannah have contributed to an industrial market growth rate that was highest in the nation for 2020, in terms of net absorption as a percent of total inventory. Last year, private operators filled 10 million square feet of industrial space in Savannah, or nearly 13 percent of the total market according to a report from CBRE. The commercial real estate firm stated GPA’s record-setting business also helped Atlanta’s industrial market absorb over 20 million square feet in 2020, third most in the nation.

According to the Colliers International market report for Savannah, the area ended the year with 77.5 million square feet of industrial space – an increase of 5.6 million square feet compared to the end of 2019 – with another 7.7 million square feet under construction. Lynch noted there is enough land permitted for private development for more than 100 million square feet of new industrial space within 30 miles of the port.

In other projects aimed at increasing Savannah’s big ship capability, the GPA Board approved in November the purchase of eight new ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will replace six older models, bringing Savannah’s fleet to 38. The eight taller cranes will arrive in 2023, allowing Garden City Terminal to serve more 15,000+ TEU vessels. Savannah’s harbor deepening, a Corps of Engineers project, will reach substantial completion by the end of Calendar Year 2021, providing greater scheduling flexibility for vessel transit.

Also Monday, the GPA Board approved the purchase of 20 new rubber-tired gantry cranes. The new RTGs will be tall enough to stand over six containers, one higher than Savannah’s older RTGs, allowing for additional capacity in the same terminal footprint.

On Feb. 22, an expanded container operation came online at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, bringing annual capacity there to 250,000 TEUs. “The new capacity at OT will ensure our shipping line customers see no service delays while GPA is straightening Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal,” McKnight said. “In light of unprecedented demand, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to grow capacity at our deepwater terminals.”

Since the upswing in containerized cargo began last fall, GPA has seen significant growth in categories such as machinery, appliances and electronics; hardware and houseware; food; furniture; apparel; and textiles.

“Thanks to the hard work of GPA employees and our partners at the International Longshoremen’s Association, motor carriers and rail, we achieved our busiest February ever,” said Lynch. “With consumers spending less on travel and services, they’re devoting more of their income to goods purchases, which has resulted in increased container volumes.”

Rail cargo outpaced the growth of the overall container trade in February, with intermodal lifts at Garden City Terminal reaching approximately 77,500 TEUs for the month, an increase of 12.6 percent, or nearly 8,700 TEUs. The Appalachian Regional Port also had its busiest February ever, with the inland rail yard handling 4,955 TEUs of trade.

In Brunswick Roll-on/Roll-off trade, Georgia Ports achieved 23 percent growth in February, handling 50,945 units of autos and heavy machinery, up 9,518 units compared to February 2020. “The re-opening of domestic and overseas auto plants has resulted in an upward trend in Roll-on/Roll-off volumes at Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick and at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, which we expect to continue,” Lynch said.

GPA has received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a fourth berth for Ro/Ro cargo at Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick. The project, currently in the engineering phase, will provide increased speed and flexibility in auto processing.

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.

Savannah moves more than 4.6M TEUs in 2020

 

Georgia exports hold steady The Port of Savannah handled 1,990 vessel calls in Calendar Year 2020. The largest container terminal of its kind in North America. Savannah moves more than 4.6M TEUs in 2020.
The Port of Savannah handled 1,990 vessel calls in Calendar Year 2020. The largest container terminal of its kind in North America, Garden City Terminal features 34 ship-to-shore cranes and nearly 10,000 contiguous feet of dock. Find photos of GPA milestones from 2020 here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

 

Georgia exports hold steady

SAVANNAH, Ga., Jan. 25, 2021 – Georgia exports held steady as The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 4.68 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in 2020, up 1.8 percent over its 2019 total of 4.59 million. Total cargo crossing all docks in 2020 reached 38.4 million tons.

“Coming through this year with modest growth is a major accomplishment for Georgia’s ports and our partners throughout the private logistics community,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “With unmatched terminal operations, superior road and rail connections, and reliable third-party service providers, there are no better run ports in the nation.”

The Port of Savannah achieved its busiest December ever last month, moving 447,525 TEUs, an increase of 24 percent, or 86,700, compared to December 2019. Total cargo crossing all docks reached 3.33 million tons last month, up 12.5 percent. Rail volumes for the month grew 16.4 percent, or approximately 10,900 TEUs, for a total of 77,230. Intermodal cargo represented 17.4 percent of December container volumes.

“Savannah’s capacity to take on additional trade as well as its diversified cargo portfolio – including ecommerce and strong export markets – helped to drive business gains,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Additionally, a housing boom has translated into strong demand for furniture, appliances and other home goods crossing our docks. We remain optimistic that the conditions for growth will continue, but it is too early to know if the pace of cargo expansion will carry on as it has.”

During the time when manufacturers around the world were shuttering plants, Georgia exports held steady over the calendar year, at 2.3 million TEUs. Export container volumes were led by food, forest products, cotton, clay, automotive goods and chemicals. The Port of Savannah maintained a near-even trade balance of 51 percent import and 49 percent export, rare for the industry.

“Efficient global connections make export goods more competitive on international markets, and as our 37 weekly vessel calls show, shipping lines are drawn to ports with balanced trade,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “By supporting small businesses and major industries, our terminals are key to attracting and retaining good jobs for Georgians.”

Another bright spot for the calendar year was the Appalachian Regional Port. The ARP handled 59,000 TEUs in 2020, up by 25,000 or 73 percent compared to the previous year. “More customers are seeing the benefit of moving cargo by rail to the ARP, then using shorter truck routes to nearby portions of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama,” Lynch said.

At the Port of Savannah, growing container trade over the last five months of the year followed five consecutive months of lower volumes.

“Despite the current uncertainty, the Authority has remained steadfast in its commitment to build for the future,” McKnight said. “Expanding our berth capacity, growing Savannah’s crane fleet, adding container storage space and moving forward on the Mason Mega Rail Project are some examples of those efforts.”

When planning and design started for Mason Mega Rail in 2016, annual rail lifts at Garden City Terminal totaled 675,000 TEUs. Today, that number is more than 936,000, a 40 percent increase. At full build-out, Mason Mega Rail Terminal will grow Savannah’s annual rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year.

“Even during the pandemic, we’ve seen successes such as expanding trade with Memphis customers,” McKnight said. “As a major intermodal center, Memphis is a key market for expansion of Savannah’s rail service.”

In CY2020, Memphis customers accounted for 178,000 TEUs of loaded rail cargo for the Port of Savannah, an increase of 3 percent or more than 4,800 TEUs. Memphis is GPA’s second busiest inland rail market after Atlanta.

With Phase I of the Mason Mega Rail Terminal operational, Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern are able to make cargo available for pickup in Memphis within three days of being offloaded from a vessel. Major Memphis exports crossing GPA docks include cotton, logs, chemicals and machinery, while major imports include auto parts, electronics, furniture and apparel.

While the container trade ended the year in positive territory, the auto industry was harder hit, with both manufacturing and sales experiencing a difficult year related to the pandemic. Roll-on/Roll-off cargo totaled 602,748 units for the year at GPA, a decrease of 8 percent, or 55,000 units. However, momentum has increased in recent months, with Ro/Ro trade between August and December up 15,000 units compared to the same period in 2019. December 2020 Ro/Ro units totaled 70,266, up 22.5 percent.

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.

 

Additional information available at GAPorts.com 

 

 

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