How Port of Savannah is Reaching 1 Million TEU by Rail


The Port of Savannah’s Mega Rail Project has been showcased in a new video that visualizes how the development will double the terminal’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year at the end of the scheme’s expected completion date of 2020.

Construction is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2018 to provide Savannah with additional railway track on the terminal for 10,000-foot long trains to be serviced.

This is expected to rapidly increase inland markets from Atlanta to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago and the Ohio Valley.

The completion of the Mega Rail Project coincides with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) which will allow the largest vessels calling on the Port of Savannah to take on heavier loads and transit the river without having to wait for high tide.

Overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers, SHEP will deepen the outer harbor to 49 feet at low tide and 56 feet at high tide.

The inner harbor will increase to 47 feet and 54 feet at high tide.

SHEP is 35% complete, with a finish date in late 2020.

Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal at the start of 2017, the percentage of neo-Panamax vessels calling on Savannah has grown from 42% to 60%.

But, more capacity to service the vessels is still to come, as the Port of Savannah has 10 Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes on order for next year.

This will bring terminal’s total number of cranes up to 36.

Learn more about Garden City Terminal in Savannah Port by reading the 'Garden City Terminal: A Single-Terminal Port for Today’s Market' technical paper by Ed McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer, Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah, US Georgia Ports Authority

Four cranes will arrive in 2018, and the final six by 2020.

Having 36 cranes on the dock will allow Garden City Terminal, the fourth-busiest container port in the US, to move 1,300 containers per hour on and off vessels.

For the Fiscal Year 2017, the Port of Savannah handled 3.85 million TEU.

No other port in the US Southeast recorded greater volumes.

During his annual State of the Port Address on October 12, 2017, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch announced record cargo volumes, infrastructure development and two new customers bringing a combined 1 million square feet of additional distribution center space to Savannah. 

During his presentation, Lynch announced two major e-commerce developments.

Noble House, a national furniture supplier, will build a 630,000 square-foot facility to serve the eastern half of the US, while home accessories company Best Choice will build 345,000 square feet.

These announcements are in addition to 3 million square feet of distribution center space completed within the last year, and 5.2 million square feet currently under construction.

This new activity will bring Savannah’s industrial inventory to more than 57 million square feet, of which less than 2 percent is currently available.

Lynch said: “Today’s announcements are the result of the strong collaboration of Georgia’s entire maritime community, including GPA, the International Longshoremen’s Association, stevedores, motor carriers, rail and third-party service providers.

 “We thank Noble House and Best Choice and the many other business leaders who have selected Georgia and the Georgia Ports this year. E-commerce is a growing opportunity for Georgia as companies take advantage of cost savings related to landing cargo closer to population centers in the Eastern U.S.”

Read more: Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has ordered six more ship-to-shore (STS) cranes from Konecranes for the Port of Savannah

Daily Email Newsletter

Sign up to our daily email newsletter to receive the latest news from Port Technology International.

Supplier Directory

Find out how to get listed

Webinar Series

Find out how to attend

Latest Stories

Cookie Policy. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.