Box traffic slides at Georgia Ports Authority


The Georgia Ports Authority moved 464,883 TEU in November, a decrease of 6.2 per cent.

The figure is 30,866 fewer boxes compared to the same month last year.

Compared to November 2019, however the Port of Savannah’s performance constitutes an increase of 28 per cent over three years.

The impact of inflation and a shift in consumer spending are partially responsible for a reduction in manufacturing and subsequent container demand.

Weather also played a role in the November decline. The Savannah River channel was closed to the largest vessels for more than three days last month because of adverse weather conditions, including Tropical Storm Nicole.

“Container trade at US ports is returning to a more sustainable growth pattern, which is a positive development for the logistics industry” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

“Along with the addition of more than 1 million TEU of annual capacity, a slight reduction in demand will mean faster vessel service as we work to bring a new big ship berth online at Garden City Terminal in July.”

“While we are planning for a moderation in the container trade, we expect volumes to remain strong, though shy of the historic highs of the past year,” said GPA Chairman Joel Wooten.

Lynch said the current lull has allowed Savannah to reduce its vessel queue to 17 container ships, down 43 per cent from 1 November, when there were 30 vessels at anchor.

GPA expects to clear the backlog by early January.

The authority announced last week its intention to renovate the docks at Ocean Terminal in Savannah to provide two additional big ship berths, and transform the 200-acre facility to a container-only operation by 2026.

The Port of Savannah is again on track to record its greatest annual TEU handling total for the year after a extremely successful October period in 2022, handling 552,806 TEU.

The Port of Savannah just reached the fourth spot in PTI’s Top 5 Ports in the United States 2022.

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