Consumer spending surge causes 25% TEU jump at GPA

Consumer spending surge causes 25% jump at GPA

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) saw its TEU traffic increase by 25% year-on-year (YoY) in July 2021, which it attributed to strong consumer demand and a rise in container services at its main gateways.

In a statement, GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said the “prolonged surge in volumes” is being driven by “consumer demand and the addition of extra loader vessels”. He also explained that the GPA had expedited projects to increase storage space by 1.4 million TEU annually.

In March 2022, a 25-acre parcel along Ga. 21 will open operation as a support services site for Garden City Terminal, increasing on-terminal chassis storage. In 2023, the GPA will commission another 92 acres, adding 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity.

“I’d like to thank our GPA employees and the Georgia logistics community for the long hours and hard work they are putting in to handle this unprecedented business,” Lynch said.

Also in 2023, improvements to Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal will be completed. At present, construction crews are demolishing the old dock at Berth 1, installing a dock face wall along the new alignment and preparing for crane rail installation. Demolition is 35 percent finished.

The new dock will allow Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels, and three additional ships. In a related project, GPA is purchasing eight new ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 38.

Another major project, the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, will double the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year. The first nine working tracks of the expanded rail yard have opened for operation. The final nine working tracks will be operational by October.

Additionally, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is now 90 percent complete. The deepening will allow Super Post-Panamax vessels to take on heavier loads and transit the river with greater scheduling flexibility.

Joel Wooten, GPA Board Chairman, said, “We’re expecting continued elevated demand in both Brunswick and Savannah through at least the end of 2021.

“To accommodate growing business, the board approved last month $525 million in bonds to fund our berth and container yard enhancements.”

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