~ Cargo growth bolsters port’s impact on economy ~
Savannah, GA — The Port of Savannah handled a record 479,700 twenty-foot equivalent container units of cargo in January, an increase of 4 percent over the same month a year ago, a month in which cargo volumes had expanded by 22 percent. The Port of Savannah has now set monthly records for the past 18 months.
“The steps we have taken to add capacity have broken the logjam in global logistics for our customers and created jobs throughout the supply chain” said Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The dedication and hard work of our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), and our other partners throughout the logistics community have also played a key role to keep cargo flowing.”
Over the past year and a half, the Port of Savannah has grown its container volumes by 1.2 million TEUs, and by more than 930,000 TEUs last year alone. According to the most recent economic impact study by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, port activity supports one job for every 10 TEUs moved each year, or an additional 93,000 full- and part-time jobs throughout Georgia in 2021. GPA alone grew by 145 employees last year. “It has been an inspiration to see how our team, the ILA and so many others in the supply chain have been ramping up the work force with highly skilled and dedicated team members,” said Lynch.
In addition to expanding its workforce, GPA has now arranged a fifth pop-up container yard to grow its capabilities further. The Port of Savannah is now loading import containers for delivery to the 330-acre CCX Yard in Rocky Mount, N.C., which is owned and operated by CSX. In its initial arrangement with the railroad, GPA will use up to 400 container slots (about 800 TEUs), for an annual capacity of 40,000 TEUs. While GPA’s current use of the site will be limited to its Southeast Supply Chain Relief Program, the location has the potential to serve Raleigh, N.C., approximately 40 miles away from the CCX Yard.
“The success of our inland pop-up yards has provided an excellent relief valve and reduced the number of containers at the Port of Savannah,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “In combination with the on-terminal storage capacity that we continue to expand, our customers can be assured of the fast, reliable, world-class service they have come to expect from Georgia Ports.”
Four other flexible pop-up facilities are located near manufacturing and distribution centers in Savannah, Atlanta, Statesboro and the Appalachian Regional Port. The yards add 410,000 TEUs of additional container space, bring cargo closer to customers and reduce the amount of storage time at Garden City Terminal.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 9.3 percent of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2020.
Photo: On Feb. 2, Georgia Ports employees and partners including the International Longshoremen’s Association and Gateway Terminals worked the Hapag Lloyd Ulsan Express using eight ship-to-shore cranes. The GPA handled 479,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in January, an increase of 4 percent compared to the same period last year. Find print-quality images here. (Georgia Ports/Stephen B. Morton)