Port of Savannah Container Volume Increasing

2022 fiscally has been a huge success, according to the Georgia Ports Authority. In one year, Port of Savannah has recorded 5.76 million twenty-foot units being handled, making it an 8% overall increase year over year.

Simultaneously, the port of Savannah has also announced that June 2022 was also a record-breaking month for them, handling 494,107 TEUs, which is a rise of a 10.6% increase in cargo as compared to their numbers in June 2021. So far in FY2022, export loads accounted for 1.32 million TEUs for GPA, while import loads were at 2.86 million, according to the GPA numbers.  The top exported items were forest products, clay, and automotive cargo. The top imported items included furniture, machinery, and plastic goods. Besides the influx in container movement, the GPA also saw a rise in breakbulk tonnage, with an influx of 15.7 percent to more than 3 million tons.

What has caused this shift?

GPA (Georgia Port Authority) says the increase is due to a “significant shift in vessel calls” from the West Coast to the East Coast.  GPA’s Executive Director Griff Lynch also announced in a press release that “Savannah is also receiving container trade diverted from the Port of Charleston.”

Among diverted freight, the port of Savannah is also looking ahead for the future of the Port, including “expedited infrastructure projects, inland pop-up yards”, which is contributing to the record number of truck turns for day and night operations. The Garden City terminal saw a weekday average of 14,500 trucking moves in June 2022, which includes inbound and outbound gate changes.

In response to the influx of volume, GPA has additionally hired 166 new workers in 2022.  In the future, GPA expects the purchase of 12 new rubber-tired cranes and other equipment for container handling during July 2022, which will amount to about a $30.25 million dollar expenditure.   GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten in a newly released press document cites, “Growing our workforce and infrastructure is a part of the Board’s continuing commitment to keep our deepwater terminals ready to take on new trade,” he goes on to further say, “Presently, we are expanding our dock space to handle additional big ships and increasing our container storage space in Savannah, while simultaneously enhancing our capabilities to move autos and breakbulk in Brunswick”