The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has approved several projects that will increase annual capacity at the Port of Savannah to more than 6 million TEU.
In a statement, the GPA said it will expand its operations by adding 2,100 grounded container slots as part of the Peak Capacity project – this will increase yearly yard throughput by 650,000 TEU a year over two phases.
GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said the company was taking the decision because of record-breaking traffic.
“Right now, we are moving container volumes that we did not expect to see for another four years.
“Our employees are working very hard to ensure we continue to provide our customers with world-class service. Additionally, we are expediting capacity projects that will increase the speed and fluidity of cargo handling at the Port of Savannah.”
TPort of Savannah moved 390,804 TEU, an increase of 7.2% year-on-year (YoY) in its busiest February on record.
Between September and February, GPA handled 2.64 million TEU, an increase of nearly 16.5%, compared to the same six-month period a year ago. “In terms of cargo volumes, we’ve added the equivalent of an extra month of trade since September,” Lynch said.
GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said, “Georgia’s container trade has experienced unprecedented growth over the past six months.
“This addition is among several that will address the needs of port users experiencing a sharp increase in demand, while also preparing Savannah to take on additional business over the long term.”
In other projects aimed at increasing Savannah’s big ship capability, the GPA approved in November the purchase of eight new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes.
The new machines will replace six older models, bringing Savannah’s fleet to 38. The eight taller cranes will arrive in 2023, allowing Garden City Terminal to serve more 15,000+ TEU vessels.
Savannah’s harbor deepening, a Corps of Engineers project, will reach substantial completion by the end of Calendar Year 2021, providing greater scheduling flexibility for vessel transit.
Also Monday, it approved the purchase of 20 new rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes. The new RTGs will be tall enough to stand over six containers, one higher than Savannah’s older RTGs, allowing for additional capacity in the same terminal footprint.