Strong demand drives record growth at GPA

Apr 12, 2017   Supply Chain

The Georgia Ports Authority experienced strong growth in containerised, auto and breakbulk trade in March.

The Port of Savannah moved 311,770 twenty-foot equivalent units last month, an increase of 5.6% or 16,621 TEUs. Total tonnage across all terminals increased 9.8% (258,627 tons), moving 2.89 million tons for the busiest March ever in the Authority's history.

"Strong demand from retail and manufacturing customers -- both in the US and abroad -- is driving growth in Savannah and Brunswick," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "As existing port users expand their trade through our terminals and new customers tap into Georgia's connectivity to major population centers across the Southeast, we expect to see additional job and economic development opportunities for our region."

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, the Port of Brunswick achieved growth of 22.5%, with Colonel's Island Terminal moving 56,580 units, up by 10,386 cars, trucks and tractors for the month. At GPA's autoport in Brunswick, 214 acres are in the design or development stages, bringing auto processing space to 547 acres. In addition to the land now being developed, the Authority plans to add another 510 acres on the island's south side to support auto processing. This will double the capacity for cars and heavy machinery in Brunswick.

Breakbulk cargo also saw double-digit growth for the month, reaching 232,601 tons, a 10.5% (22,034-ton) increase over March 2016. Strong categories included iron and steel, which grew 82% in total cargo (16,059 tons) to reach 35,598 tons. Forest products exported via Mayor's Point Terminal in Brunswick more than doubled from 5,347 tons in March 2016 to 11,337 tons last month.

The GPA's cargo report follows the US Federal Maritime Commission's approval Friday of an agreement between the port authorities of Georgia and Virginia to share best practices and marketing efforts.

"As our ports continue to experience record growth, it is more important than ever that Georgia and other gateway hubs begin to plan regionally for the future," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "Cooperation between ports, with an eye toward maintaining world-class service, is a necessary part of today's marketplace. As gateways to global commerce for the US East Coast, the ports of Georgia and Virginia are critical links to the nation's economy."

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