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Georgia Ports near 5 million TEUs in 2023

Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reported a 4% decrease in its December box volumes handling 422,300 TEUs and a 16% decline in its 2023 container throughput with 4.9 million TEUs.

Higher inflation rates and interest rates affecting consumer spending and resulting in elevated inventories in warehouses were the main reasons for this container decline, according to the port authority.

Meanwhile, GPA’s Mason Mega Rail intermodal facility is experiencing growth, with a 10% increase in volumes during the first six months of fiscal year 2024 compared to fiscal year 2023. In December alone, GPA recorded 45,709 rail lifts, marking a 20% increase from the same month of the previous year. Rail volumes constitute approximately 20% of Savannah’s total volumes, with the remaining 80% being transported by truck.

Additionally, GPA’s Port of Brunswick achieved a record-breaking milestone in 2023, handling 775,565 units of autos and machinery, marking a significant 15.6% increase from the previous year.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has strategically invested US$262 million in expanding Colonel’s Island, aiming to establish it as the premier Ro/Ro facility in the United States. This expansion includes the addition of 493,716 m2 for Roll-on/Roll-off cargo storage, the construction of three new warehouses for near-dock warehousing, ongoing development of new processing centres, and plans for a fourth Ro/Ro berth and a new rail yard.

These initiatives are designed to provide auto manufacturers with enhanced capabilities for meeting their growing import and export demands, as well as increased flexibility in the storage and movement of vehicles during seasonal cycles.

Source: Container News


Georgia Ports receives green light for new rail hub in Gainesville

Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) executive director Griff Lynch confirmed that GPA’s Network Georgia plans to develop rail hubs around the state is gaining momentum, with federal environmental approval for an inland terminal near Gainesville.

GPA will now finalise a grant agreement with United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), an agency of the US Department of Transportation, before beginning construction.

MARAD has awarded GPA a grant of up to US$46 million for the construction of a new inland container port along the I-85/I-985 corridor.

Earthwork is set to begin in July, with the terminal building starting in January 2024 and ending in July 2026.

Georgia Ports expects the inland rail hub to open with 60,000 containers per year. With a roundtrip truck route of 602 miles, the terminal’s starting volume would save nearly 36 million truck miles on Georgia highways in its first year of operation, according to a statement.

Meanwhile, last month the Georgia Ports Authority had its third busiest April ever, with 408,686 TEUs of containers, behind April 2022 (495,782 TEUs) and April 2021 (466,633 TEUs). Last month’s volume was a 12% rise over the port’s pre-pandemic performance in April 2019, when Garden City Terminal carried 364,481 TEUs.

Source: Container News


Georgia Ports focuses on container shipping, transforming Ocean Terminal

The board of Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has approved a plan to renovate and realign the docks at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal aiming to better accommodate its expanding container operations.

“For nearly 40 years, Ocean Terminal has been handling a mix of container ships and breakbulk vessels. The realignment is part of a broader effort to transform the terminal into an all-container operation, shifting most breakbulk cargo to the Port of Brunswick,” explained Griff Lynch, executive director of GPA.

The port authority’s plans are to shift breakbulk cargo carried by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean to Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick. Construction has started on over 33,000 m² of dockside warehousing that will serve auto processing, as well as three additional buildings and more than 340,000 m² of auto storage space on the south side of the island.

The Ocean Terminal facility will be modified in two phases. Work will begin with rebuilding the docks to provide over 853 metres of berth space, capable of serving two big ships simultaneously, while the docks will be served by new ship-to-shore cranes.

GPA Board also expanded its crane purchase by one, for a total of eight cranes slated for Ocean Terminal.

“As the dock construction progresses, GPA will continue to operate container ships at Ocean Terminal,” noted Ed McCarthy, chief operating officer at Georgia Ports.

According to GPA’s announcement, apart from new cranes and berth enhancements, the overall project will bring expanded gate facilities and paving to allow for 1.5 million TEUs of annual capacity. Wharf renovations are scheduled to start in January 2023, with the completion of the entire terminal redevelopment expected after three years.

In the meantime, the port of Savannah has achieved its busiest October ever, in which it handled nearly 553,000 TEUs.

Port officials expect container volumes to decline towards the end of the year. Lynch said the opening of a new container berth at Garden City Terminal next summer and volume declining from historic highs will help expedite vessel service, which saw backlogs during the height of demand.

“While we are beginning to see an anticipated market correction, it is important that GPA move forward with projects like the Ocean Terminal enhancements to accommodate business growth,” stated GPA board chairman, Joel Wooten.

Source: Container News