Business, Freight News, Sea

Savannah container trade up 12%

[ October 21, 2018   //   ]

The Georgia Ports Authority achieved a 12% increase in containerized trade at the Port of Savannah in September, along with a 37.6% increase in roll-on/roll-off trade at the Port of Brunswick.

“The impressive volumes moving through our deepwater terminals are related to our customers building inventory for the peak buying season,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We anticipate year-on-year growth to continue as we’re trending toward a strong fourth quarter of the calendar year.”

Marking 23 consecutive months of growth, the Port of Savannah handled 364,090 twenty-foot equivalent container units last month, an increase of nearly 39,000 TEUs over September 2017. GPA ended the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 (July-September) with 1.1 million TEUs handled. The performance was good for 10.8% growth (109,164 TEUs) compared to the first quarter of FY2018.

At the Port of Brunswick, automotive and heavy equipment units increased by 13,811 in September for a total of 50,515 units.

“From exports to imports, autos and machinery units to containerized goods, our ports are firing on all cylinders,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Our success is the result of always looking out on the horizon for what’s coming next.”

Cargo moving by rail at the 1,200-acre Garden City Terminal continues to outpace Savannah’s overall TEU growth, expanding by 35% in September and 30% for the fiscal year to date, on volumes of 41,183 and 131,819 containers, respectively.

To take on more rail business, the GPA has started construction on what will become the largest on-terminal rail facility for a port in North America. The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will start to come online in 2019, with full completion in 2020. Able to accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains, the rail yard will help increase Savannah’s intermodal market by making direct service over longer distances more cost effective for rail providers Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Lynch said the additional business is related in part to on-terminal infrastructure expansions, as well as private investment in warehousing and logistics services in Georgia.

“New cranes, additional space and expanded truck gates at our terminals, as well as booming private industrial development are not only improving efficiency for existing customers, but drawing new port users to Georgia,” Lynch said.

Containers and ship to shore cranes working vessels at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal, Thursday, Feb., 8, 2018, in Savannah, Ga. (GPA Photo/Stephen B. Morton)