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Port of Savannah Sets Calendar Year Record

Source: Georgia Ports Authority, Credit: Jeremy Polston
Source: Georgia Ports Authority, Credit: Jeremy Polston

By The Maritime Executive 01-30-2020 07:44:50

The U.S. Port of Savannah moved a record 4.6 million TEUs in 2019, an increase of nearly 250,000 TEUs (5.6 percent) compared to the previous year. 

In the ro-ro trade, Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled 657,685 units of cars, trucks and tractors in 2019, an increase of 12,167 units, or two percent.

Ocean Terminal picked up two new customers in 2019 - GM and Volvo - with both carmakers exporting vehicles to Australia and New Zealand via Savannah. Volvo also began exporting cars to South American markets via Brunswick.

"Both Savannah and Brunswick are outperforming the market, with Garden City container trade growing at a rate three times faster than the U.S. total, and Brunswick ro-ro units increasing despite a drop in U.S. vehicle sales in 2019," said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. 

Total tons crossing all GPA terminals reached 38.5 million, up from 36.9 million tons in 2018, an increase of 4.3 percent due to steady volumes in breakbulk cargo, combined with growth in tonnage for both bulk and containerized goods.

Highlights of the year included a burst of new cargo handled via the Appalachian Regional Port, totaling approximately 36,000 TEUs, and the announcement of two new resin-handling facilities near Savannah, which are expected to increase export totals by around 90,000 TEUs per year.

The port has an infrastructure plan that will double annual rail capacity at the Port of Savannah to two million TEUs, expand berth capacity to handle up to six 14,000-TEU vessels by 2026, and develop another 400 acres on Colonel's Island, enough to nearly double the autoport's annual capacity from 800,000 vehicles to 1.5 million per year.