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Georgia Ports: Adding capacity has ‘broken the logjam in global logistics’

January volumes near half-million TEUs at Port of Savannah

Eight cranes begin work on the 13,000 TEU container ship Ulsan Express at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo: GPA/Stephen B. Morton)

January marked the 18th consecutive month that the Port of Savannah in Georgia attained a monthly record. 

The Port of Savannah handled 479,700 twenty-foot equivalent units in January, rising 4% from January 2021, Georgia Ports Authority said Wednesday. 

The records come as East Coast ports have seen volumes rise as shippers seek an alternative to the crowded Southern California ports. January’s record also comes amid strong consumer demand. The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said Wednesday that they estimate that the major U.S. ports handled 2.15 million TEUs in January, up 4.4% year-over-year.

To accommodate the surging volumes, the Port of Savannah has taken steps such as expanding its workforce and creating five inland pop-up container yards to reduce the number of containers at Savannah. GPA said over the last year and a half, the Port of Savannah has grown its container volumes by 1.2 million TEUs, including more than 930,000 TEUs in 2021 alone.

“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,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a release. “The dedication and hard work of our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and our other partners throughout the logistics community have also played a key role to keep cargo flowing.”

The fifth pop-up yard to load import containers is at the 330-acre, CSX-owned and operated CCX Yard in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, which GPA will use as part of its Southeast supply chain relief program. The location, which has 400 container slots totaling 800 TEUs, has an annual capacity of 40,000 TEUs and could also serve the Raleigh, North Carolina, market 40 miles away. 

The other four pop-up facilities add up to 410,000 TEUs of container space and are located near Georgia manufacturing and distribution centers in Savannah, Atlanta, Statesboro and the Appalachian Regional Port, GPA said.  

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.