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Port of Savannah handles its highest volume of TEUs on record in 2017

Jan. 31, 2018
Learn more about the Port of Savannah GA setting a record for TEUs handled in 2017.

The Port of Savannah handled more than 4 million 20-foot equivalent container units in 2017—an increase of 11% and the port’s highest annual volume so far.

“This is the first time we’ve handled more than 4 million TEUs in a 12-month period, which is an important milestone for Savannah,” said Griff Lynch, Georgia Ports Authority executive director. “These numbers clearly show that Georgia has the fastest-growing and most critical port in the Southeast.”

In December 2017, GPA handled 323,000 TEUs, up 10.6% or 31,000 TEUs, for the busiest December in GPA’s history.

“Savannah is double the size of the next largest port in the region, highlighting Georgia’s growing role as a gateway for American cargo,” Lynch said. “Similarly, there is no deepening project more significant in the nation at this time than the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.”

Georgia Gov Nathan Deal released his fiscal year 2018 budget proposal recently, allocating $35 million in additional support for the deepening, for a total of $301 million in state funds. Currently, there are three dredges working in the Savannah River. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

At a recent GPA board meeting, Lynch reported total trade for 2017 reached a record 35 million tons of cargo, an increase of 3.8 million, or 12%.

Intermodal business at Garden City Terminal improved by 18.8% in December, reaching nearly 65,000 TEUs moved by rail. The GPA is scheduled to break ground on the Mason Mega Rail terminal in early spring. The project will double Garden City Terminal’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

The board approved a $3.5 million expenditure to update four of its older ship-to-shore cranes. In November, the Port of Savannah received four Neopanamax cranes. Another six will arrive in 2020, growing the port’s fleet to 36 cranes, and allowing the port to move nearly 1,300 containers per hour over a single dock.

The board also heard that container exports outpaced imports in December. Loaded export boxes rose by 13.3%, while loaded import containers grew 11.2% year over year. Of 323,117 TEUs in December cargo, export TEUs accounted for 52% of trade for the month, while imports were 48%.

Container tons increased by 310,654 tons to reach 2.48 million in December, a gain of 14.3% over the same month in 2016. For the year 2017, total container tonnage reached 30.04 million, of which 52.6% was export cargo and 47.4% import.

For more details, see www.gaports.com.

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