New Marine Terminal Tariff for Port of Savannah

A new marine terminal tariff will go into effect on October 1st for the Port of Savannah, stemming from a concern of an influx of empty containers at the Port’s terminals.  In the midst of longshore labor negotiations on the West Coast, US importers are shifting a large portion of their cargo to the East Coast, which is creating empty backlogs nationwide.

This influx of containers has grown so much that Savannah’s port is currently experiencing record levels of empty containers. As of August 2022, the port handled 1.1 million TEUs of empty container exports, which is a 29 percent year-over-year increase. Imports through Savannah grew 7 percent, roughly 1.96 million TEU, calculated within the same time frame.

What are the new fees involved with the terminal tariff?

A new marine terminal tariff was introduced by GPA in an effort to free up terminal space involved with the new volume levels. The tariff was designed to encourage carriers to pick up empties from the port as quickly as possible. As part of the new tariff rules, carriers will be allowed to store empties up to 75 percent of the weekly average laden exports and empty containers they picked up during the previous quarter.

GPA will also introduce tier-based fees for each empty above the new inventory set levels, ranging from $10 to $25 per day.  According to GPA, the new tariff imposed will help alleviate potential further buildup that would hinder their terminal productivity.  GPA further supports the idea, claiming “We have the capacity to maintain fluidity at current inventory levels, but we can be more productive.”

Imposed marine tariffs don’t just apply to Savannah. Under the New York-New Jersey port tariff, ocean carriers must remove more than 10 percent of containers dropped off the previous quarter. Those who do not meet the required volume under the tariff would be exposed to the fee every quarter.