The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has reached what is described as a “major milestone” by installing rail track linking Garden City Terminal’s Chatham and Mason rail yards.
The additional track will boost on-terminal storage capacity by 35% and allow GPA to build more trains approximately 10,000ft in length on terminal for both Class 1 railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern. It also means the Mason Mega Rail Terminal project is 75% finished.
GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch, said: “When complete, Mason Mega Rail Terminal will not only double our rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year, it will increase our reach into the heartland with more frequent, direct service and unmatched reliability.
“This expansion will also ensure the free flow of cargo across our terminal and beyond our gates as Savannah takes on more business.”
Lynch insisted while there is no guarantee container trade will continue to expand at the same rate, the Port of Savannah has achieved incredible growth in the midst of a global pandemic.
“To have achieved all-time record volumes in two of the last three months is a tribute to the hard work and collaboration between GPA and our partners throughout the supply chain,” Lynch said.
“The progress we have already made on the Mason Mega Rail has delivered significant capacity increases, and will further assure Savannah’s role as the third busiest container gateway in the nation.”
GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said accommodating new business is key to GPA’s central mission of economic development – and a main reason the Authority is expanding terminal capacity.
“Our long-term infrastructure investments ensure cargo fluidity as Savannah’s container trade increases,” McKnight said. “By improving our berthing for today’s larger vessels, expanding container storage, and doubling our rail lift capacity, we’re making sure GPA is ready when our customers are ready to grow.”
Additionally, the GPA said the Port of Savannah reached an all-time high of 464,095 TEU in October, up 8.3% year-on-year (YoY).
The performance eclipsed the previous all-time record, set in August, of 441,600 TEUs. Savannah’s July through October trade totaled 1.68 million TEU, an increase of 3.4% for the fiscal year to date.