The Georgia Ports Authority marked strong and sustained growth across all major markets in the month of February, including bulk, breakbulk, autos and machinery, and containerized freight.
"The additional cargo attracted to Georgia speaks to the reliability and ease of doing business in this state," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "More freight moving through GPA terminals means greater opportunity for the people working at more than 21,000 businesses shipping cargo through Georgia's ports."
In containerized trade, the Port of Savannah achieved a 14.2-percent improvement in February, for an increase of 35,287 twenty-foot equivalent container units. A total of 284,037 TEUs moved across GPA docks. For the fiscal year, GPA has moved 2.32 million TEUs, an increase of 13.7 percent or 279,882 TEUs. Georgia's deepwater ports have seen similar fiscal year increases across all business categories, with breakbulk cargo up 11.2 percent (183,562 tons) to reach 1,821,830 tons. Bulk cargo has improved by 6.9 percent (127,731 tons) to reach 1.99 million tons for the eight-month period between July and February.
In automotive and machinery units, the GPA saw 8.9 percent growth in February, up 4,734 units to reach 57,654. Colonel's Island Terminal in Brunswick led the growth, moving 55,482 units of roll-on/roll-off cargo. For the fiscal year to date, the GPA has moved 464,638 auto and machinery units, up 5.8 percent, or 25,648 units.
Also in the month of February, bulk commodities such as soybean meal and peanut pellets improved by 14.8 percent, and breakbulk cargo, such as iron and steel, spiked 24.8 percent.
"Georgia's ports are truly firing on all cylinders," said GPA Board Chairman James Walters. "Our ports are powerful engines, creating economic opportunities throughout the supply chain."
Also Monday, the Ports Authority heard a report on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's contract award to deepen the port's 18.5-mile outer harbor to 47 feet at low tide.
In other business, the Authority:
• Approved $10 million for Phase II of construction for a new Gate 8 and empty container depot at Garden City Terminal at the Port of Savannah. The project, totaling $27 million, will help the terminal to handle higher than expected container volume growth.
• Allotted $3.7 million for earthwork on 50 acres on the south side of Colonel's Island at the Port of Brunswick. The work will help prepare the site for potential customers.
• Approved construction of a third phase of the Anguilla Rail Yard in Brunswick, Ga., aimed at increasing capacity to handle growing rail volumes. Improvements will include the construction of two additional storage rail tracks of approximately 4,200 feet in length for each, and an approximate total cost of $2.7 million.
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