Port of Savannah sees second busiest month on record in July

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Aug 17, 2018: The Port of Savannah moved 378,767 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUS) in July, an increase of 12.7 percent, or 42,668 TEUs, compared to the same month last year. It was the second busiest month on record for the port, informs Georgia Ports Authority (GPA).

The total tonnage for the major port grew by 10.5 percent in July, or nearly 300,000 tonnes, for a total of 3.15 million tonnes. Breakbulk tonnage crossing all docks increased by 14.4 percent (33,494 tonnes) in July for a total of 265,891 tonnes of cargo. At East River Terminal in Brunswick, bulk cargo grew by 43 percent. Terminal operator Logistec moved an additional 29,670 tonnes last month, for a total of 98,483. 

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, the GPA handled 53,419 units of autos and machinery, an increase of 5 percent, or 2,610 units, compared to July 2017. 

Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick moved the majority of that Ro/Ro cargo, accounting for 50,850 units of the total. 

In Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017—June 2018), rail cargo at Garden City Terminal increased by 16 percent (60,000 containers) for a total of 435,000 intermodal rail lifts. July continued that trend, with the busiest month on record for intermodal cargo, at 41,070 container moves, for an increase of 20.8 percent (7,087 containers) compared to July 2017. 

“July was an incredible start to our fiscal year, with double-digit growth across our container, breakbulk and dry bulk operations,” said Griff Lynch, executive director, GPA. 

“Greater capacity, via cost-effective 14,000-TEU vessels transiting the Panama Canal, makes Savannah an even more competitive option to serve the Eastern US,” said Lynch. “This, in part, is driving an increase in rail moves to markets such as Memphis and Nashville.” 

Since Fiscal Year 2016, the GPA has seen its container trade grow by nearly 16 percent, or an additional 560,000 TEUs. However, turn times for motor carriers and rail operations have not increased. 

“Georgia has simply built a superior logistics solution and our customers and carriers are responding,” said Jimmy Allgood, Board chairman, GPA. 

“We continue to deliver a congestion-free terminal operation, even with record growth.” 

Allgood said GPA’s increasing trade has positive ripple effects throughout Georgia’s economy.

The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of US containerised cargo volume and 10 percent of all US containerised exports in FY2017.

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