Georgia Ports Authority Announces Record-Setting October Volumes


Published Nov 14, 2019 12:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Georgia Ports Authority announced Thursday that it recently recorded the highest October traffic volume in its history, marking another month in the port's long string of new records since the opening of the New Panama Canal. 

The Port of Savannah's container terminal moved almost 430,000 TEU in October, an increase of 3.5 percent year-on-year. The strong month gave the port a fiscal year-to-date total of 1.6 million TEU, up six percent relative to the same period in FY2018. 
"We have seen three years of incredible volume growth, and the economy of the U.S. Southeast remains a powerhouse," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "Georgia's market share continues to expand as new commodities come online and customers in new regions rely on our services."

Part of the traffic growth comes from the influx of new port users into the Savannah area, including plastics companies.  In October, A&R Logistics selected the Savannah market for its new export hub for plastic resins. Its 600,000 square-foot packaging facility will be operational by late 2020, and it could later expand up to one million square feet. In April, Plastic Express announced it is investing $170 million in two resin packaging warehouses in Savannah, each measuring one million square feet.
"Savannah is already the port of choice to serve the U.S. Southeast," said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. "To accommodate future growth, GPA has and continues to make significant infrastructure investments that are allowing the GPA to take on new business, create jobs and economic development."

At the Garden City Terminal, berths 4, 5 and 6 were recently strengthened to accommodate larger cranes and vessels, and the port can now serve three 14,000 TEU ships and four other Post-Panamax ships simultaneously. Savannah will also add six new STS cranes in mid-2020, bringing its total to 36. Additionally, the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, the nation's largest on-port rail facility, is now more than half-finished. 
Total tonnage crossing all GPA terminals - including containerized, bulk and breakbulk cargo - reached 13 million tons July through October, up about five percent relative to the same period last year.