Freight News, Sea

Bigger ships destined for Savannah

[ January 30, 2017   //   ]

In the container sector, there’s a realignment going on in this industry as carriers merge to form massive alliances. With the advent of this unprecedented development also comes the arrival of bigger ships. Consequently, 13,000- to 14,000-TEU ships will be headed to the East Coast sometime in 2017.

As the size of vessels and alliances grows, so does the need for larger terminals with significant assets to handle increased volumes. At 1,200 acres, handling 10,000 truck moves per day and 38 trains per week, officials at Georgia Ports Authority see Savannah as perfectly positioned to fill this need. The reason is the Port of Savannah is already the single largest container terminal in North America and the region’s busiest gateway.

GPA has several initiatives in place to take Garden City Terminal to the next level. One of the most significant is the Mid American Arc.

By expanding on-terminal rail infrastructure to better accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains, the Mid-American Arc initiative will make rail service between the Midwest and Savannah more cost effective. More customers in Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago will be able to take advantage of Savannah’s 34 global vessel calls per week and world-class terminal operation.

Other pieces of key infrastructure to handle growing demands are in place. In December, four Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes arrived at the Port of Savannah, increasing the fleet to 26, allowing the GPA to move up to a thousand containers per hour across a single dock.

GPA already has more ship-to-shore cranes than any other single terminal in the U.S., and will receive another four next year, increasing the fleet to 30.

Additionally, Garden City Terminal features 146 rubber-tired gantry cranes – more than all other South Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports combined.