The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled an all-time record of nearly 500,000 TEU in March, a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 48%, as trade volumes continue to accelerate.
The hub processed 498,000 TEU in the month of March, meaning it concluded the third quarter with a fiscal year-to-date (July-March) total of 3.9 million TEU and is set to handle 5 million in a single fiscal year for the first time.
GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said an unprecedented amount of containerised cargo had moved through the authority’s terminals in the past six months and that employees have “risen to the challenge”.
He also explained that the GPA is looking to make upgrades and improvements across its infrastructure to meet future demand.
“To ensure our vessel operations and terminal services continue to keep pace with our growth, GPA is expediting a series of infrastructure projects from berth and container yard improvements to the expansion of intermodal rail,” Lynch said.
The GPA’s Mason Mega Rail Terminal volumes grew by 29.7 percent in March, moving an additional 10,924 TEU for a total of 47,684. At the Appalachian Regional Port, intermodal lifts increased 37.7% for the month, up by 761 TEU compared to March 2020, for a total of 2,782.
Over the coming months, the GPA will add container yard space and rail capacity, as well as growing its big ship service capabilities and crane fleet.
By September, GPA will commission Phase I of a project that will add a total of 650,000 TEU of space at Garden City Terminal. A separate project adding 750,000 TEU of annual capacity will open for operation in 2023.
It also revealed that the second set of nine new working tracks will begin serving customers at the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, increasing GPA’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEU per year.
GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight also commented, “Last month’s performance constitutes a massive turn-around from the same period a year ago.
“The Board’s decision to invest more than $100 million per year over the next three years will not only make Savannah better able to handle this new level of trade, but to take on additional business as our customers grow.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was quoted saying, “Every new container that moves through the Port of Savannah means new jobs for Georgia.
“The port and the entire logistics community continue to serve as an economic engine for Coastal Georgia and the entire state as we accelerate our economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This record-setting month proves that Georgia is open for business!”