The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has announced that the port of Savannah hit a record April this year, moving 356,700 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) — an increase of 7.1%.
The port’s record month pushed its fiscal year-to-date totals to more than 3.4 million TEUs, an overall increase of 8.8% (280,000 TEUs) compared to the first 10 months of the previous year.
The GPA’s Executive Director, Griff Lynch, said: “We're on track to move more than 300,000 TEUs in every month of the fiscal year, which will be a first for the Authority.
“We're also anticipating this to be the first fiscal year for the Port of Savannah to handle more than 4 million TEUs.”
The port has seen a compound annual growth rate of more than 5% over the past decade, making it the fastest-growing container port in the country.
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The GPA’s Board Chairman, Jimmy Allgood, commented: “As reported in the recent economic impact study by UGA's Terry College of Business, trade through Georgia's deepwater ports translates into jobs, higher incomes and greater productivity.
“In every region of Georgia, employers rely on the ports of Savannah and Brunswick to help them become more competitive on the global stage.”
In an effort to continue the growth and bolster the port of Savannah’s capacity the GPA board has approved $66 million in terminal upgrades, including the purchase of 10 rubber-tired gantry cranes totally $24 million — bringing the crane fleet to a total of 156 RTGs.
The newly purchased cranes will support three new container rows, which are expected to increase the port’s annual capacity by 150,000 TEUs, and will arrive at the port in two batches of five in the first and second quarters of 2019.
The GPA recently started development on a $126 million rail development project in order to increase rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year, and open new markets spanning an arc of cities from Memphis to St. Louis, Chicago to Cincinnati.
GPA officials estimate the new terminal will begin coming online by the fall of 2019, with project completion in the fall of 2020.