Improved US Economy Lifts Georgia Ports
The Georgia Ports Authority, operator of the U.S. seaports of Savannah and Brunswick, ended 2014 with growth in all cargo sectors, including a 10.2 percent increase in twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and a 7.4 percent increase in total tonnage.
The Port of Savannah moved 3.34 million TEUs in calendar year 2014, an increase of 312,037 TEUs over 2013.
The Port of Brunswick moved 688,575 auto and machinery units for the year. Combined with roll-on/roll-off trade through the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, GPA moved 716,055 units in 2014, an 8.6 percent (57,190-unit) increase on the year.
”Georgia’s ports benefited from an improving retail economy, renewed strength in manufacturers’ orders of raw goods, and the expanding population of the Southeast,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz.
Breakbulk cargo, such as forest products, iron and steel improved by 12 percent, or 294,466 tons to reach 2.74 million tons. Meanwhile, bulk cargo such as gypsum, wood pellets and agricultural products saw an increase of 5.7 percent (152,987 tons) for a total of 2.81 million tons.
Counting containerized, bulk and breakbulk cargo, total tonnage reached 30.39 million tons, up 2.09 million for the calendar year.
”Commerce has chosen Savannah as the Southeast’s busiest port for containerized cargo,” said GPA Board Chairman James Walters. ‘‘With construction beginning on the Savannah Harbor deepening, the Jimmy Deloach Parkway extension moving toward completion, and our continued on-terminal investment, we are solidifying our role as a logistics hub.”
In other business, to accommodate larger than expected volume growth, GPA approved the purchase of 10 additional rubber-tired gantry cranes. This is an addition to a May order for 20 of the machines used to handle shipping containers on terminal. The purchases will bring Savannah’s total number of RTGs to 146.
Image: GPA/Stephen B. Morton