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East coast ports outperform west during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Port of Savannah container traffic increased by 17% year-on-year (YoY) in February as it joined South Carolina in succeeding despite the COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic, in a growing trend of east coast ports outperforming those on the west.

According to the Georgia Port Authority’s (GPA) latest monthly volume figures, the port handled 364,405 TEU in February. Griff Lynch, the GPA’s CEO, credited the “strong fundamentals” of operations at the ports of Savannah and Brunswick for the strong performance.

The GPA also noted the technological advancements the Port of Savannah has made in order to meet the greater demands in volume.

In February it received three new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, increasing the Garden City Terminal’s fleet to 36.

In addition, it has also made advancements in the Mason Mega Rail project, which will double its rail capacity, and the recent acquisition of 1300 acres of land to give the Garden City Terminal a capacity of one million TEU.

“The Authority’s forward thinking means our ports will be well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities when they arise,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight.

“Savannah is poised to lead the U.S. East Coast and the nation as we recover from the present downturn.”

The results follow the South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) announcement on 19 March that it had broken its February traffic record. This points to a growing trend in the US which suggests that ports on the Atlantic are outperforming those on the Pacific.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two biggest in the country, have both seen their traffic plummet amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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