Terminals operated by the Georgia Ports Authority handled 350,104 TEUs in May 2017, an 11.68 percent increase from the same month last year.
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), which operates the state’s seaports in Savannah and Brunswick, handled 350,104 TEUs of containerized cargo last month, 11.68 percent (36,619 TEUs) more than during the same month a year ago, according to recent data from the port authority.
The amount was an all-time record month for container volume, according to GPA, which attributed the increase in part to larger vessels reaching the port via the expanded Panama Canal, and additional container services calling ports in Georgia.
“Our record-breaking performance in May with no congestion or operational issues gave our customers increased confidence in Georgia’s ports,” Port Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a statement. “This proves the GPA can simultaneously serve larger vessels and greater volumes while providing the excellent logistic solutions our customers have come to expect.
“It’s evident shipping lines are deploying larger vessels and cargo exchanges through the Panama Canal to Georgia’s ports,” Lynch explained. “This is a strong indicator that an important market share shift to Georgia is possible through recently restructured shipping services.”
GPA said that between July 2016 and May 2017, its Garden City Terminal received 1,676 vessel calls, of which 454 transited the expanded Panama Canal. This led to a 16 percent increase in throughput during that 11-month period via the Panama Canal at Garden City Terminal, according to the data.
Lynch said the recent calls of a couple of 13,000-TEU-plus vessels — the COSCO Development and OOCL France — demonstrate that the GPA can efficiently handle larger vessels. The ships, he said, play to the strengths of Garden City’s single terminal operation, which includes a 1,200-acre complex, 26 ship-to-shore cranes, nine container berths and on-terminal service by two Class I railroads.
After the April 1 realignment of major container shipping alliances, 35 weekly container services are calling at the Garden City Terminal, more than any other port on the U.S. East Coast, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.