The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) moved more than 4.68 million TEU in 2020, an increase of 1.8% year-on-year (YoY), after the Port of Savannah achieved its best December results on record and Appalachian Regional Port’s (ARP) traffic grew by 73%.
The Port of Savannah moved 447,525 TEU, an increase of 24%, or 86,700, compared to December 2019.
Total cargo crossing all docks reached 3.33 million tons last month, up 12.5%. Rail volumes for the month grew 16.4%, or approximately 10,900 TEU, for a total of 77,230. Intermodal cargo represented 17.4% of December container volumes.
GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch, said, “Savannah’s capacity to take on additional trade as well as its diversified cargo portfolio – including ecommerce and strong export markets – helped to drive business gains.
“Additionally, a housing boom has translated into strong demand for furniture, appliances and other home goods crossing our docks. We remain optimistic that the conditions for growth will continue, but it is too early to know if the pace of cargo expansion will carry on as it has.”
During the time when manufacturers around the world were shuttering plants, Georgia exports held steady over the calendar year, at 2.3 million TEU. Export container volumes were led by food, forest products, cotton, clay, automotive goods and chemicals.
The ARP handled 59,000 TEU in 2020, up by 25,000 or 73% compared to the previous year.
“More customers are seeing the benefit of moving cargo by rail to the ARP, then using shorter truck routes to nearby portions of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama,” Lynch said.
GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said, ““Efficient global connections make export goods more competitive on international markets, and as our 37 weekly vessel calls show, shipping lines are drawn to ports with balanced trade.
“Despite the current uncertainty, the Authority has remained steadfast in its commitment to build for the future.
“Expanding our berth capacity, growing Savannah’s crane fleet, adding container storage space and moving forward on the Mason Mega Rail Project are some examples of those efforts.
“Even during the pandemic, we’ve seen successes such as expanding trade with Memphis customers,” McKnight said. “As a major intermodal center, Memphis is a key market for expansion of Savannah’s rail service.”