The Port of Savannah moved a record 4.5 million 20-foot equivalent container units in the fiscal year that ended June 30, an increase of more than 305,000  TEUs or 7.3 percent.

“Our ports are firing on all cylinders,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “This success is a testament to the men and women who work throughout our entire supply chain and make a difference for Georgia and the nation every day. Because of their commitment, our factories, farms and logistics providers are creating opportunity and prosperity in every corner of our state.”

Rail milestone

For the first time ever, GPA handled more than half a million container lifts to rail, growing that number by more than 72,000, or 16.6 percent. The 506,707 intermodal boxes constituted more than 20 percent of total containers, another record.

“The Authority’s investment in the Mason Mega Rail project is coming just in time for our capacity to stay ahead of demand, ensuring the free flow of intermodal cargo,” GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said. “The first phase of the project will be complete this year, cutting rail transit time to Midwestern markets by 24 hours.”

Aiming for 1 million

The Mason Mega Rail project, which will double Savannah’s rail capacity and create the largest on-terminal intermodal facility in North America, is 35 percent complete. By 2021, the new facility will be able to handle 1 million containers per year.

“Our team on the terminal — GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and our two Class 1 rail providers, CSX and Norfolk Southern — are moving more freight faster and more efficiently than ever before in our history,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said. “Rail cargo is expanding at twice the rate of our overall container trade, reducing congestion on our highways and increasing Georgia’s reach to a mid-American arc of cities, including Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio.”

During its July 29 meeting, the GPA board approved increases to accommodate record growth.

  • At GPA’s Garden City Terminal, the nation’s third busiest container gateway, a $12.4 million project to construct four new container rows will increase annual capacity by approximately 400,000 20-foot equivalent container units.
  • At GPA’s Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick, Ga., a $1.7 million project to add four additional acres to the 662-acre facility will add an estimated 600 processing spaces for new and expanding business.

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