The Port of Savannah moved more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units across Garden City Terminal in the first quarter of FY2018 (July 1-Sept. 30), growing by 5.8 percent or 55,629 TEUs over the same period in FY17. In September alone, the GPA moved 325,141 TEUs, an increase of 5.4 percent or 16,792 TEUs compared to the same month last year.
“Sustained organic growth coupled with increased market share are driving these volume increases,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We have also achieved major gains through the addition of Neo-Panamax vessels to the fleet serving Garden City Terminal.”
Container tons grew by 8.1 percent, or 543,761 tons, to reach 7.23 million tons for the quarter ending Sept. 30.
During the annual Savannah State of the Port address held last week, Lynch outlined an infrastructure improvement plan to accommodate strong growth, expand existing markets and develop new ones. Included in the plan is the purchase of 10 additional ship-to-shore cranes, for a total of 36. Four cranes will arrive in 2018, and the final six by 2020, allowing Garden City Terminal to move 1,300 containers per hour on and off vessels.
Additionally, the Authority’s $128 million Mega-Rail project will increase rail lift capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1 million containers per year by 2020. The project will add 97,000 feet of new track, including 18 new working tracks, and bring all switching on-terminal. Better accommodating trains up to two miles long will position the Port of Savannah to provide faster service to the U.S. Midwest.
In 2018, the GPA’s Appalachian Regional Port, an inland terminal in Chatsworth, Ga., will open for service. The CSX-served container yard will expand the Port of Savannah’s reach into Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
Also in the coming year, the GPA will add six truck lanes at Garden City Terminal for a total of 54 lanes, a 12.5 percent increase.
“It’s Savannah’s unique capabilities – the largest single terminal in North America, 26 ship-to-shore cranes, on-terminal rail and immediate interstate access – that have allowed the port to handle significant growth,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Smart investments that will double our rail lift capacity at Garden City, build inland terminals around the state, and put an unprecedented 36 cranes on one dock will position Savannah to take on a new era of business expansion.”