The Port of Savannah in Georgia announced that it moved nearly 500,000 Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo in April — the highest ever for the month — and the port is set for major capacity improvement to support growing demand.
In a statement, the Port of Savannah said it handled 495,782 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) last month, a record for the month of April and the Georgia Ports Authority's third busiest month ever.
It noted that GPA's Garden City Terminal also now handles nearly one out of every nine loaded containers crossing the nation's docks.
"The phenomenal growth we have achieved has been made possible by the team effort of GPA and Gateway Terminals employees, the International Longshoremen's Association, and our partners in trucking and rail," said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director.
GPA's containerized trade increased 6.2% or 29,150 TEUs in April, compared to the same month a year ago.
The port noted that the growth is related in part to retailers replenishing depleted inventories and making early orders to ensure product availability.
For the fiscal year to date, GPA has handled 4.75 million TEUs, an improvement of 8% or 344,260 TEUs year over year.
Infrastructure expansion program
"Our long-running program of infrastructure expansion, coupled with the Authority's ability as an owner-operator to speed up the schedule of development, has allowed the Port of Savannah to adapt to heightened container volumes," said Joel Wooten, GPA board chairman. "On-terminal and inland capacity improvements enable cargo to flow across our docks without congestion."
GPA noted that the Board recently approved a measure to replace a 50,000 square-foot cargo shed at Mayor's Point Terminal in Brunswick with a new, 100,000 square-foot warehouse with up-to-date life safety improvements and flooring upgrades to handle heavy cargoes.
It said the renovations to Container Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal are also now more than 40% complete.
"The realigned CB-1 will increase annual berth capacity by 1.4 million TEUs and provide an additional big ship berth served by new ship-to-shore cranes. Substantial completion is expected in June 2023," GPA said in the update.
In addition, the Authority noted that it expects to bring online nine new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes by the spring of 2023. This will bring the Port of Savannah's total RTG fleet to 207.
"The Peak Capacity Project has added 900,000 TEUs of annual container yard capacity to Garden City Terminal as of April 13. Another 300,000 TEUs of capacity are expected to come online by July," it said.
Meanwhile, GPA said Phase I of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a 25-acre chassis yard adjacent to Ga. 21. Grading and placement of aggregate base are ongoing, with the contractor having turned over approximately 10 acres of space for use in February and construction should be complete by mid-summer.
GPA said Phase II of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a total of 1 million TEUs of annual capacity, with the first phase coming online in 2023.