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 

 

 

GPA reaches Mega Rail milestone

Sets all-time records for containers, cars

GPA reaches Mega Rail milestone
The first CSX rail cars travel under the S.R. 25 overpass on newly installed track linking Garden City Terminal’s Chatham and Mason Mega Rail yards. The Mason Mega Rail project is now more than 75 percent complete. (Georgia Ports Authority / Emily Goldman)

SAVANNAH, Ga., Nov. 30, 2020 – On the heels of achieving its busiest month on record for both container trade and Roll-on/Roll-off cargo, the Georgia Ports Authority has reached a major milestone on its Mason Mega Rail Terminal.

Rail cars are now traveling newly installed track linking Garden City Terminal’s Chatham and Mason rail yards. The additional track boosts on-terminal storage capacity by 35 percent and allows GPA to build more trains of nearly 10,000 feet in length on terminal for both Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern. The Mason Mega Rail project is now more than 75 percent finished.

“When complete, Mason Mega Rail Terminal will not only double our rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year, it will increase our reach into the heartland with more frequent, direct service and unmatched reliability,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This expansion will also ensure the free flow of cargo across our terminal and beyond our gates as Savannah takes on more business.”

Lynch said while there is no guarantee container trade will continue to expand at the same rate, the Port of Savannah has achieved incredible growth in the midst of a global pandemic. “To have achieved all-time record volumes in two of the last three months is a tribute to the hard work and collaboration between GPA and our partners throughout the supply chain,” Lynch said. “The progress we have already made on the Mason Mega Rail has delivered significant capacity increases, and will further assure Savannah’s role as the third busiest container gateway in the nation.”

GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said accommodating new business is key to GPA’s central mission of economic development – and a main reason the Authority is expanding terminal capacity. “Our long-term infrastructure investments ensure cargo fluidity as Savannah’s container trade increases,” McKnight said. “By improving our berthing for today’s larger vessels, expanding container storage, and doubling our rail lift capacity, we’re making sure GPA is ready when our customers are ready to grow.”

At the GPA Board meeting Monday, Lynch reported container volumes at the Port of Savannah reached an all-time high of 464,095 twenty-foot equivalent container units in October, up 35,714 TEUs or 8.3 percent compared to the same month last year. The performance eclipsed the previous all-time record, set in August, of 441,600 TEUs. Savannah’s July through October trade totaled 1.68 million TEUs, an increase of 55,378, or 3.4 percent for the fiscal year to date.

GPA’s trade in vehicles and machinery units grew by 24 percent last month, with a total volume of 78,772 units. The previous record was set in April 2015. October trade brought GPA’s fiscal year-to-date numbers to 225,109 Ro/Ro units, up 2.6 percent or 5,608 units.

“To handle additional business, the GPA has repurposed Berth 2 at Colonel’s Island in Brunswick to accommodate the largest Ro/Ro vessels calling the U.S. East Coast today,” Lynch said. “In addition, we have been awarded a permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to add a fourth berth, which is currently in the planning stages.”

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.

World Distribution Services doubles Savannah footprint

World Distribution Services Adds second Pooler distribution center

 

World Distribution Services doubles Savannah footprint


 

SAVANNAH, Ga., Nov. 6, 2020 – World Distribution Services (WDS), a Cleveland-based logistics and transportation company, is expanding its operations to more than half a million square feet in the Savannah market, with a new 280,000 square-foot distribution center in Pooler. Company officials held a grand opening Friday at the new warehouse, expected to provide up to 50 jobs.

 

“We are happy to welcome World Distribution Services’ expansion of jobs and cargo capacity,” said Cliff Pyron, chief commercial officer at the Georgia Ports Authority. “With record container volumes crossing the docks at the Port of Savannah, such private investment is vital to the smooth flow of cargo beyond our gates to inland markets.”

 

The new distribution center more than doubles the WDS presence in Savannah, adding to an existing 250,000 square-foot operation. Duncan Wright, president of WDS, said the additional space will support business growth and allow the company to take on new clients. “Our existing facility has been at capacity for more than two years,” said Wright. “Based on the increased freight traffic moving through Savannah, we wanted to help support the growth the GPA is driving. This facility positions WDS for future success in the market.”

 

Pyron said the expanding market of third-party logistics providers in Savannah serves as a magnet for new business. “Private investment in logistics extends and expands the reach of the GPA to new customers,” Pyron said. “Not only do 3PLs bring customers with them when they locate here, but available warehouse and cross-dock capacity is an important factor for companies establishing new supply routes.”

 

World Distribution Services offers warehousing and inventory management, transloading, retail distribution, and value-added services such as pick-and-pack, and e-commerce fulfillment at its two locations on Morgan Lakes Industrial Boulevard in Pooler, Ga. The warehouses are less than 10 miles from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal. The Port of Savannah is the third-busiest container gateway in the country, the nation’s top exporter of containerized goods and the fastest growing major port in the U.S. over the past 10 years.

 

According to Cushman Wakefield, the Savannah market comprises 79 million square feet of industrial space. Another 8.7 million square feet are under construction, for an 11 percent increase in inventory. Pyron noted there is enough land permitted for private development to accommodate another 130 million square feet of distribution center space within 30 miles of the port – nearly twice the area’s current industrial space.

 

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 holds first virtual State of the Port

Post image

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch delivers live comments leading into the Authority’s first virtual State of the Port event. The Port of Savannah is the nation’s busiest container export gateway for American-made products. Find broadcast-quality b-roll video here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen Morton)

 

Lynch: Strong outlook for Savannah

 

SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct. 22, 2020 – In its first-ever virtual State of the Port Address, co-hosts Griff Lynch and Will McKnight took the Georgia Ports Authority’s online audience for an on-terminal view of infrastructure advancements the Authority is making to accommodate record container growth. Lynch, GPA executive director, also highlighted nearly 9 million square feet of industrial construction now under way in Savannah’s private market.

“We appreciate the decisions of cargo owners to place their trust in Georgia. As our economy recovers, customers continue to be attracted by Savannah’s strong fundamentals – including the people who make our ports work,” Lynch said. “I want to thank our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and our many partners across the logistics industry for their dedication to service.”

In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 (July-September), the Port of Savannah handled 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 1.6 percent or 19,663 TEUs. The port set a monthly record in September, growing TEUs by 11.4 percent, or 42,140, for a total of 412,148 TEUs in September.

According to Cushman Wakefield, the Savannah market comprises 79 million square feet of industrial space. Another 8.7 million square feet are under construction, for an 11 percent increase in inventory. Lynch noted there is enough land permitted for private development to accommodate another 130 million square feet of distribution center space within 30 miles of the port – nearly twice the area’s current industrial space.

In a recorded statement, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said private development projects delivering thousands of jobs and millions of square feet of industrial space mean the long-term outlook for Georgia’s ports is strong. “Over the past year, our nation has faced unprecedented challenges that have impacted our daily lives and our economy. We’ve had to rethink how we handle the logistics of healthcare, retail, manufacturing – and the global trade that supports these endeavors,” Kemp said. “Through it all, our ports have remained steady, keeping cargo moving, attracting investment, and building market share.”

Kemp said that as the nation’s top export gateway, the Port of Savannah provides the cost-effective connections Georgia farmers, manufacturers and other exporters need to compete globally.

During the live portion of the virtual State of the Port, Lynch announced a 1.2 million square foot facility in Bryan County to be built by medical goods provider Medline Industries. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2021, with FedEx leasing 415,000 square feet to provide e-commerce capabilities.

Will McKnight, chairman of the GPA board and co-host during the virtual State of the Port, said helping to bring new business to Georgia is part of GPA’s central mission – and a main reason the Authority is stepping up its capacity. “We’re making strategic expansions to ensure cargo fluidity as Savannah’s container trade increases,” McKnight said. “Our long-term infrastructure investments ensure GPA is ready when our customers are ready to grow.”

Ongoing infrastructure improvements include:

  • Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Deepening the harbor to 47 feet at low tide is now 75 percent finished, with completion expected in late 2021.
  • Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail capacity to 2 million TEUs. Nine new working tracks have been commissioned, with another nine slated for completion in 2021.
  • Expanding container handling capabilities at Ocean Terminal to serve smaller ships while berth renovations are ongoing at Garden City. This project will be completed by the end of 2020.
  • Straightening Berth 1 to allow Garden City Terminal to dock four 15,000+ TEU vessels and three additional vessels simultaneously. The project will take approximately two years.
  • Expanding container storage onto 145 acres recently added to the now 1,345-acre Garden City Terminal.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Special guest Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said the state has maintained powerful momentum in attracting new business. “We have more projects than we have probably ever had. Businesses are making decisions. This is not a true recession in the sense of there was a decline in need, it’s just that the world shut down,” Wilson said. “Businesses are taking this opportunity to make investments to continue to grow, and they’re planning for the future, for when we come back.”

In FY2020, the state of Georgia won projects bringing $7.4 billion and 24,000 jobs, across sectors including manufacturing, logistics and technology. In Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties alone, private investors announced more than half a billion dollars in industrial projects and more than 1,200 jobs just last fiscal year.

Recent economic development announcements include:

  • FedEx is taking 415,000 square feet in a brand new, 1.2 million square-foot facility in Bryan County being built by medical goods provider Medline. Construction is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Hooker Furniture, HMI, will open a new 800,000 square-foot distribution facility in Liberty County’s Tradeport East Business Center. The $23.5 million investment will deliver 50 new jobs.
  • MSI Tile plans a 675,000 square-foot distribution center in Chatham County. MSI projects it will bring 20,000 TEUs of new business to the Port of Savannah annually, and provide 225 jobs.
  • Logistics provider World Shipping is opening a 280,000 square-foot facility in Savannah in November.
  • Georgia Exports Company has established a location 1.5 miles from the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County, where it will load logs into containers for export. GEC is expected to export more than 28,000 TEUs annually.
  • Huali Floors is establishing its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County. The $27 million project will create 315 new jobs.

McKnight said by taking the State of the Port address online, GPA is able to share Savannah’s competitive advantages with a broader audience.

“We have been able to reach out to thousands more people than we ever have before,” McKnight said. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to virtually bring our stakeholders and customers onto a working port.”

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 maintaining record pace for September

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Rail-mounted gantry cranes transfer containers from trains to trucks on the Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah. The first nine working tracks on the expanded rail yard are now operational. The second set of nine tracks will be commissioned in the summer of 2021. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston)

Mason Mega Rail arriving just in time

SAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 28, 2020 – After the Georgia Ports Authority handled all-time record volumes in the month of August, Griff Lynch, executive director for the GPA, reported to the Board of Directors today that the Port of Savannah is on track to achieve a monthly record for September, expecting to move more than 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units this month.

“We frankly didn’t anticipate growth for the months of August and September, but we are gratified by the loyalty of our customers and the dedication of our employees,” said Lynch. “Although there is still much work to be done, Savannah’s status as the Number 1 export port means it will play a critical role in the nation’s economic recovery.”

Based on cargo bookings, GPA is projecting more than 5 percent growth compared to September 2019. The Appalachian Regional Port (ARP), GPA’s inland terminal in northwest Georgia, Murray County, also reported record volumes in August and projects similar results for September. 

“The ARP and our Mason Mega Rail project are both examples of GPA’s proactive approach to planning, development and completion of projects well ahead of demand,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Clearly, our ability to handle additional volumes related to exponential increases in e-commerce and a renewed demand for American-made export products is helping to produce these positive numbers.”

The ARP nearly doubled its cargo for the month of August to 6,156 TEUs and is anticipating similar growth in September. During the board meeting Monday, the Authority approved adding six new container storage bays, totaling 230 TEU slots to handle additional demand at the inland terminal. The added bays will increase annual capacity by 15,000 TEUs and be complete by the end of the year.

The ARP provides an alternative to an all-truck dray to and from the Port of Savannah for target markets in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Each roundtrip container offsets 710 truck miles on Georgia highways. The ARP also offers an efficient solution to challenges related to hours of service for truck drivers.  GE Appliances recently opened its $32 million Southern Logistics Center in Murray County, just two miles from the inland terminal. Additionally, Huali Floors, a manufacturer of resilient flooring, has announced plans to establish its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County.

“I want to thank Governor Kemp and the team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development for 

the recent announcements of new jobs and private investments in and around Murray County that are helping to drive business through the ARP,” said Lynch. “This team approach to economic development is the reason industry publications have consistently ranked Georgia as the Number 1 state to do business in this country.”  

Other ongoing projects to increase capacity at GPA include the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, now 75 percent complete and the Mason Mega Rail Terminal which is close to 50 percent complete. Recently, GPA reconfigured a portion of the Garden City Terminal container yard to add more than 11,000 TEUs of container storage; and purchased an adjacent parcel to grow Garden City Terminal to 1,345 acres.

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 rmorris@gaports.com.

Largest container ship ever on East Coast docks in Savannah

by: 

Posted:  Updated: 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The largest container ship ever to serve the U.S. East Coast arrived in Savannah Friday morning.

The CMA CGM Brazil, equivalent to eight Statues of Liberty in length, began traveling up the Savannah River around 6:30 a.m. and arrived downtown around 9 a.m.

Onlookers lined River Street to take in the view and snap a few wide-angled photos.

In addition to welcoming the record-setting Brazil — with a capacity of more than 15,000, 20-foot-long container units — the Georgia Ports Authority announced it set an all-time container record last month.

The Brazil in downtown Savannah:

 

“Frankly, we weren’t expecting to experience record volumes during this pandemic, but thanks to our employees, the ILA and all of our partners who pulled together and our customers who believe in us, this announcement is possible today,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

In August, GPA says Savannah moved more containers over its docks, more cargo through its rail yards and more trade in and out of its inland terminals than at any other point in its 75-year history.

“This is an exciting day for our port and our community,” Rep. Buddy Carter stated. “After years of hard work, this is a foreshadowing of what is to come as we continue to expand vessel capacity at the port.”

The French-owned CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt set the record back in 2017 as the East Coast’s largest ship, carrying up to 14,400 cargo containers that are 20-feet long apiece.

Wondering where the Brazil is now? Track it live online here.

The ship entered the port of New York and New Jersey earlier this week.

The Brazil will continue its East Coast journey to the Port of Charleston after it visits the Hostess City.

Watch the ship as it reached Tybee Island:

 

 

Savannah top port for US export

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During the first five months of 2020, the Port of Savannah moved the highest number of export containers of any U.S. port. At 1,345 acres, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the largest container terminal in North America. (Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority)

COTTON, WOOD PULP, CLAY SEE BIG GAINS

SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 24, 2020 – The Port of Savannah exported more loaded containers than any other port in the country from January through May, achieving a 12.2 percent market share. Garden City Terminal handled a total of 593,195 TEUs of loaded exports during the first five months of the calendar year.

“In today’s environment, businesses need every advantage to regain momentum and provide the growth that helps so many hard-working Americans to prosper,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “The Georgia Ports Authority is a powerful economic engine for the state and a key link in the supply chain for industries across the region.”

Situated at the center of a broad logistics network, Savannah offers 37 weekly container ship services reaching destinations around the world, on-terminal service from Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX, and direct access to Interstates 95 and 16.

“With the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the transition of larger vessels to East Coast services, cargo owners are making the strategic decision to keep imports on the water longer,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Subsequently, export customers enjoy greater empty container availability in Savannah, lower container slot costs on Neo-Panamax vessels, and unmatched cargo fluidity through road, rail and terminal services.”

Among Savannah’s top export commodities, the biggest gainers for the period were raw cotton, which grew by 61.0 percent (16,377 TEUs) for a total of 43,234 TEUs, woodpulp, up by 15.8 percent (11,539 TEUs) for a total of 84,595 TEUs, and kaolin clay, up 23.7 percent (7,964 TEUs) for a total of 41,527 TEUs.

“Our export numbers show how the Georgia Ports Authority plays a vital role as a state and national asset, supporting farms and factories across the country,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Terminal efficiency is about more than moving cargo quickly, it’s about helping American companies compete in the global marketplace.”

Georgia’s deepwater ports are still dealing with the impact of COVID-19, but have seen steadier trade numbers than other U.S. ports. In July, the Port of Savannah handled 360,700 TEUs, down 6.8 percent or 26,325 TEUs, compared to the same month last year. Total tonnage for the month dipped 3.1 percent, or 101,870 tons, for a total of 3.16 million tons for the first month of Fiscal Year 2021.

“Georgia’s diverse industry, its position as a major agricultural producer and its central location within the U.S. Southeast have helped to mitigate the worst impacts of the pandemic on trade through our terminals,” Lynch said. “Along with our partners in the International Longshoremen’s Association, motor carriers, railroads, stevedores and the distribution centers, we have been proud to provide steady, reliable service to our customers without delays or interruptions.”

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 rmorris@gaports.com.

GPA sets tonnage record for FY2020

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Crews work the COSCO Rose at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal. The terminal handled 4.44 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in FY2020. (Stephen B. Morton / Georgia Ports Authority)

 

Developers adding 5M square feet of industrial space

SAVANNAH, Ga., July 27, 2020 – The Port of Savannah handled 4.44 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in Fiscal Year 2020, down less than 1 percent compared to the previous year. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, total tons crossing all GPA docks reached a record 37.77 million, up 0.6 percent, or 223,000 tons, compared to FY2019. Container tons grew 2 percent (560,440 tons) to reach 33.5 million tons for the year, another record.

“Cargo volume reductions related to COVID-19 were offset by the strength of our export markets and record volumes earlier in the year,” said Griff Lynch, GPA’s executive director. “This year’s better than expected performance is the result of excellent teamwork starting at the top with Governor Kemp and our board of directors who have been champions of our ports, to our GPA team members along with the International Longshoremen’s Association, the shipping lines, stevedores, trucking and rail — you have never given in or given up throughout the crisis. Thank you for your commitment and perseverance.”

Even during challenging times, port activity coupled with ongoing expansion projects such as the harbor deepening and Mason Mega Rail have quickened the pace of commercial infrastructure investment. According to the latest report from Colliers International, 5 million square feet of industrial space are currently under construction in the Savannah market. In addition, Savannah is home to a total of 74.4 million square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space.

“What sets Savannah apart from the competition is the sheer capacity of the port’s ever-expanding footprint, on and off the terminal,” said Will McKnight, GPA’s board chairman. “Not only are we focused on the future and providing even greater value to our customers, but we have nearly unlimited potential and capacity to grow our business.”

The Port of Savannah’s status at the third-largest container gateway in the country, the nation’s top exporter of containerized agricultural goods and the fastest growing port over a 10-year period, continues to be a strong draw for economic development. Just recently, Port City Logistics announced an $80 million, 1.1 million square-foot development in the Savannah market as two major resin exporters were building out a total of 2 million square feet of new space.

In Northwest Georgia, the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) handled more than three and a half times the cargo it did the year before, moving 27,132 containers, up 19,610 boxes. “As more customers learn the value the ARP brings to their operations, the facility continues to gain traction and build momentum,” Lynch said. “The inland port is a real success story for GPA, and we forecast business there to continue growing.”

At the GPA board meeting Monday, Lynch reported the first nine of 18 Mason Mega Rail tracks are now moving cargo at the Port of Savannah, two new mobile harbor cranes have been added to Savannah’s Ocean Terminal and a new container yard will be completed at Ocean Terminal by year’s end. Twenty new rubber-tired gantry cranes are slated to arrive at Savannah terminals by December, three new rail-mounted gantry cranes are scheduled to go into service by the end of FY2021, and construction will start soon on the upcoming straightening of Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal to handle more 15,000-TEU vessels. GPA is also upgrading Berth 2 at Colonel’s Island in Brunswick for dedicated Roll-on/Roll-off service.

Lynch said adding new container yard space, doubling rail capacity to 2 million TEUs per year, and growing the fleet of yard and vessel cranes are all parts of GPA’s plan to increase annual capacity from 6 to 11 million TEUs. “We’re confident in the long-term strength of the U.S. economy and our ability to help port users reach their customers more effectively,” Lynch said. “We’re building now to be ready to take advantage of new opportunities.”

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