Georgia Ports Authority saw busiest April ever
Across all ports, GPA’s total tonnage increased by 13 percent, or 334,950 tons, to reach 2.94 million tons and the Authority’s busiest April ever.
“Savannah has established itself as a premier gateway serving the Eastern United States,” said Griff Lynch, GPA’s executive director. “Our team is not only keeping pace with record volumes, but has managed to set new industry standards in cargo velocity, berth productivity and congestion free gates.”
Lynch cited the recent visit of the COSCO Development, the first 13,000-TEU vessel to call the U.S. East Coast, as an example. During the 30 hours the vessel was in dock, six cranes moved more than 9,700 TEUs on and off the vessel, with a net berth productivity of 220 boxes per hour.
Last month’s performance continues a surge of growth for the GPA across the first four months of the calendar year, with TEUs increasing to 1.3 million, up 10.2 percent (121,258 TEUs) compared to the same period in 2016.
Measured in containers, total refrigerated cargo – a sector that includes export poultry, peanuts, pecans and blueberries among other farm produce – grew by 8.2 percent in April.
For the calendar year to date, refrigerated cargo is up by 11.6 percent, 2,466 additional containers through April, for a total of 23,661 containers.
Auto and machinery units via Savannah and Brunswick were up 3.5 percent (7,406) to reach 217,729 units during the first four months of the year.
In other business, the GPA Board on Monday approved the purchase of three new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes for use at the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Chatsworth, Ga. The e-RTGs virtually eliminate diesel usage, run quieter and require less maintenance than diesel-powered RTGs.
The ARP, an inland port to be operated by the GPA, will open additional markets across Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky while converting tens of thousands of containers from truck to rail. The ARP is projected to begin operation in 2018.
Find print-quality images of port operations here. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.
The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015. ■