February still busy for Georgia Ports despite year-over-year, sequential dips

GPA says market share among US ports has grown

Ship-to-shore cranes at Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal. (Photo: Georgia Ports Authority/Emily Goldman)

Despite the headwinds of inflation, rising interest rates and high warehouse inventories, the Georgia Ports Authority said it had its second-busiest February ever.

February container volumes totaled nearly 395,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, down from 460,400 TEUs in February 2022 but still 30,400 TEUs higher than pre-pandemic February 2020, GPA said Tuesday.

However, February’s volumes of 394,793 TEUs were also 6% lower than January’s volumes of 421,714 TEUs. January’s volumes also marked a year-over-year decline, with weather and reduced orders in retail and manufacturing contributing to less cargo.

U.S. import trackers such as Descartes and the National Retail Federation recently noted the challenging market for imports in February, with the timing of the Lunar New Year compounding the import decline.

“Our global economy is facing headwinds, but Georgia’s deepwater ports continue to deliver dependable performance to keep business thriving,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch in a news release.

GPA said the port complex now handles one out of every 8.8 loaded TEUs in the U.S., according to data from logistics data provider PIERS, and that’s the highest market share it has ever had. 

Since the start of GPA’s 2023 fiscal year on July 1, 2022, GPA has handled 3.8 million TEUs at the Port of Savannah.

Meanwhile, at the Port of Brunswick, trade in autos and heavy machinery grew 18.5% year over year in February to 52,720 units of roll-on/roll-off cargo.

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