The Georgia Ports Authority achieved record container volumes in 2015, Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported to the GPA board today.
Over the last calendar year, the Port of Savannah moved an all-time high 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 391,356 TEUs, or 11.7 percent compared to CY2014.
“The expansion was fueled in part by heightened demand in the U.S. Southeast, Savannah’s logistical advantages drawing new customers to Georgia and cargo diverted from the West Coast,” said Foltz.
The board also approved the purchase of four new ship-to-shore cranes for the Port of Savannah, bringing the total number to 30.
“With today’s decision, the Georgia Ports Authority will make a $47 million investment in order to maintain the highest level of service for port customers,” said Foltz. “Even before the new cranes arrive, Savannah has more cranes on its nearly two-mile long dock than any other single terminal in North America.”
The crane purchases, along with the ongoing Savannah Harbor deepening, anticipate a move in the world fleet toward larger ships.
The average vessel calling on the U.S. East Coast is shifting from a capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units to more than 10,000 TEUs.
An expanded Panama Canal will open to these larger vessels this year, providing an important new route for the more efficient ships. The larger vessels offer more than 30 percent savings on shipping costs.
In other business, the board approved $8.2 million for Phase III of construction of a new empty container depot.