The Georgia Ports Authority saw a strong August, with increased business across all categories, both month-over-month and fiscal year to date.
Totals for all terminals hit 2.3 million tons, up 13 percent on the month. For the fiscal year, 4.52 million tons of cargo have crossed GPA docks, for an increase of 5.6 percent.
“The GPA’s growth despite a relatively flat economy reflects the level of efficiency and service our customers receive, which helps Georgia’s deepwater ports maintain existing business and expand our market share,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz.
The Port of Savannah marked an August increase of 10.4 percent in total tonnage, or 197,720 tons, for more than 2 million tons of cargo. That growth was led by a 9 percent increase in container tonnage at Garden City Terminal, and a 47.3 percent increase in breakbulk freight at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, compared to August a year ago.
For the fiscal year to date, total tonnage at Port of Savannah terminals is 4.14 million, up 3.7 percent.
The count for last month’s twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) is up by 13.8 percent, or 32,819 TEUs, to reach a total of 270,610. This was the GPA’s second-highest month for TEUs ever, behind only October 2010. For FY2013, the increase is 4.4 percent, at 522,740 TEUs.
The biggest news of the year, however, involved the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). After a 15-year study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found the project to be environmentally and economically sound. For every dollar spent on the expansion, 5.5 dollars will be returned in benefits to the nation, the Corps’ study showed. Deepening the harbor to 47 feet will provide $174 million in annual net benefits to the U.S. economy. Georgia has committed $181.1 million in state bonds to SHEP. Final approvals are expected by this November.
“Since FY2002, the Port of Savannah has marked a 10.6 percent compound annual growth rate, more than twice that of any other East Coast port,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson. “Savannah leads the Southeast in containerized cargo, and the harbor deepening will ensure its premier status in moving U.S. exports to the global marketplace.”
Dredging Today Staff, September 13, 2012