Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volume

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 25, 2017

Port of Savannah Garden City Terminal on the US East coast has plans to amp up crane capacity to service 14,000 TEU vessels.

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The Georgia Ports Authority has reported record fiscal year results and approved the purchase of six new ship-to-shore cranes. The new cranes are scheduled for delivery in 2020, and are in addition to a previous order of four cranes that will be operational in June, 2018.

In FY2017, the GPA moved an all-time high of 3.85 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 6.7 percent, or 242,221 TEUs over the previous year. The combined 10 additional cranes will bring the fleet to 36, able to move more than 1,300 containers per hour across a single dock - a capacity unmatched by any other single terminal in North America.

On the US East Coast, the GPA operates the deepwater container port of Savannah and the deepwater Ro-Ro port of Brunswick, together with inland barge operations in Bainbridge and Columbus. But the growth in container traffic was particularly strong from January to June, when traffic grew 11.6 percent at the Savannah port over the same six months a year ago. In fiscal 2017 cargo totaled 33.4 million tons across all terminals, another record, up 8.3% from 2016.

Cargo growth was made possible by the partnership GPA has established with the north American and Puerto Rican labour group the International Longshoremen's Association, said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood.

"Our volume growth continues to outpace forecasted demand", GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a news release.

He said the crane purchase, along with four already on order, will enable GPA to increase crane capacity by almost 40 percent.

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