Georgia ports to lift record 4.6m TEU in 2019; rail cargo surges 30pc in 3 years

THE Georgia Ports Authority is on track to exceed a milestone annual container handling throughput of 4

12 December 2019 - 19:00

THE Georgia Ports Authority is on track to exceed a milestone annual container handling throughput of 4.6 million TEU for the first time this year. This achievement comes amid the news that the port of Savannah's Mason Mega Rail Terminal Phase I will open in the spring of 2020.

That level of trade would mark a 14 per cent increase over volumes moved through Savannah three years ago, or an additional 550,000 TEU. Over the same period, the port authority has increased the annual capacity at the port of Savannah from five million to 5.5 million TEU.

'Through incredible teamwork from the GPA and the ILA on the docks, to the motor carriers and Class I railroads, and to our partners throughout the supply chain, Georgia has managed to create a powerful hub for commerce that is creating jobs and economic opportunity in every corner of the state,' said GPA executive director Griff Lynch.

Mr Lynch said to keep cargo flowing, GPA is adding cranes, container rows, truck gates and intermodal capacity.

With the first phase of GPA's Mason Mega Rail project opening this spring, cargo moved by rail has grown twice as fast as the authority's overall three-year growth rate in the container trade.

Over the first 10 months of the year, intermodal volumes expanded by 30 per cent, compared to the same period in 2017. The port handled 427,891 rail containers through October, up 98,835 over volumes from three years ago.

The new Mason Mega Rail terminal will double Savannah's on-port rail capacity to one million containers per year.

'Exciting new business opportunities such as the export of the Georgia-made Kia Telluride, and resins produced in Pennsylvania and the Gulf States, as well as the import of cold-treated fresh produce, are driving the increase in trade through our deepwater ports,' said GPA board chairman Will McKnight.

'The speed and efficiency of our terminal operations, as well as our connectivity via road and rail make Georgia the best choice for reliable supply chain services.'

In the first ten months of this year, the GPA moved 3.88 million TEU, an increase of 222,800 TEU or six per cent, year on year.

Total tonnage crossing all GPA terminals reached 32.5 million tonnes from January to October, up four per cent over 2018, or 1.21 million tonnes, including containerised, bulk and breakbulk cargo.

The port of Savannah is handling the highest volumes of any container terminal in the US southeast, moving up to 8,000 TEU per ship.

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, Colonel's Island terminal at the port of Brunswick handled 500,512 units of cars, trucks and tractors from January through October. Ocean Terminal in Savannah added another 37,476 for a total of 537,988 units. Total ro/ro trade is up for the year by 3,300 units. Georgia is the second busiest US hub for the import-export of ro/ro cargo behind only Baltimore.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute US$25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The port of Savannah handled 8.5 per cent of US containerised cargo volume and 10 per cent of all US containerised exports in FY2017.


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