Port of Savannah Sees Record Start to Fiscal Year

Governor Brian Kemp (R) touted a record start to the fiscal year that the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has seen, as it handled 530,800 container units in July for an increase of 18 percent.

“Again and again Georgia Ports break records while demonstrating why we’re the best place to do business. Congratulations on a great start to the fiscal year!” Governor Kemp said in a tweet.

The GPA has moved 3.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) since the start of the year, an increase of 231,400 units, or seven percent, throughout the same time frame in 2021.

“The Port of Savannah has clearly become a preferred East Coast gateway for shippers globally, including cargo diverted from the U.S. West Coast,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said.

To meet increased demand, the GPA reported that it expanded berth and container yard capacity at Garden City Terminal and commenced preparation of Berth 1.

“While the global logistics network has been challenged over the past two years, our message to customers is that at GPA, we’re continuing to build and expand,” GPA Chairman Joel Wooten said.

An additional large ship birth at Garden City Terminal is 60 percent completed, with an expected completion time of July 2023. Once completed, the renovated berth will add 1.4 million TEUs to its capacity, while an additional 1 million TEUs will be added in the 2023 and 2024 phases of the Garden City Terminal West project.

“We’re moving forward with an aggressive plan to enhance our terminal operations and improve the rail connectivity to major commercial and manufacturing centers,” Wooten said.

Another step taken by the port authority to accommodate demand includes the August 1 shift to an earlier operational start to the day, as port gates now open at 4 a.m., two hours earlier than previously, and stay open until 9 p.m.

“Our expedited infrastructure projects, extended gate hours, and the outstanding work of our employees and partners are key to our ability to move cargo at a record pace,” GPA Director Lynch said.

According to Savannah-based joint-venture port company Gateway Terminals, GPA is the third-busiest container port complex in the nation.

“Our partnership with GPA allows us to optimize efficiency for a continuous flow of containers to foreign markets and to the factories, distribution centers and retail outlets that serve our nation’s economy,” Gateway Terminals President Kevin Price said.

By 2025, GPA will expand its annual berth capacity from six million to nine million TEUs by 2025, with an expected increase of 1.5 million TEUs by next year.

“The tremendous demand for services from Georgia Ports is a testament to the customer-centered drive that is at the heart of all of our efforts.” Price said.

In the fiscal year 2021, GPA generated 11 percent of all sales in the Peach State, for a total of $122 billion. Taxes generated from such figures include $6.1 billion in federal taxes and $1.7 billion in both state and local taxes.

“Stay tuned for some more good economic development news this week!” Kemp said on Twitter.

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 Addison Basurto is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Addy on Twitter and GETTR. Email tips/inquiries to [email protected]
Photo “Port of Savannah” by U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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