GPA marks best October ever as new infrastructure helps expand market share

GEORGIA Ports Authority says it's moved 428,400 TEU last month, a year-on-year increase of 14,600 TEU or 3

24 November 2019 - 19:00

GEORGIA Ports Authority says it's moved 428,400 TEU last month, a year-on-year increase of 14,600 TEU or 3.5 per cent, marking the highest October traffic volume in its history.

The strong month gave the Port of Savannah a fiscal year-to-date total of 1.6 million TEU, up 90,600 TEU, or 6 per cent.

'We have seen three years of incredible volume growth, and the economy of the US Southeast remains a powerhouse,' said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. 'Georgia's market share continues to expand as new commodities come online and customers in new regions rely on our services.'

Part of the traffic growth comes from the influx of new port users into the Savannah area, including plastics companies. In October, A&R Logistics selected the Savannah market for its new export hub for plastic resins. Its 600,000 square-foot packaging facility will be operational by late 2020, and it could later expand up to one million square feet.

In April, Plastic Express announced it is investing US$170 million in two resin packaging warehouses in Savannah, each measuring one million square feet.

'Savannah is already the port of choice to serve the US Southeast,' said GPA board chairman Will McKnight. 'To accommodate future growth, GPA has and continues to make significant infrastructure investments that are allowing the GPA to take on new business, create jobs and economic development.'

At the Garden City Terminal, berths 4, 5 and 6 were recently strengthened to accommodate larger cranes and vessels, and the port can now serve three 14,000 TEU ships and four other Post-Panamax ships simultaneously. Savannah will also add six new STS cranes in mid-2020, bringing its total to 36. Additionally, the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, the nation's largest on-port rail facility, is now more than half-finished.

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, Colonel's Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah handled a total of 63,353 units in October, an increase of 7.8 per cent or 4,600 units. For the fiscal year to date, ro/ro volumes remained flat at 220,000 units. Georgia is the second busiest US hub for the import-export of ro/ro cargo behind only Baltimore.

Total tonnage crossing all GPA terminals reached 13 million tonnes during July to October, up 4.7 per cent or 583,500 tonnes, including containerised, bulk and breakbulk cargo, according to media reports.


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