The MOL Benefactor has worked its way down the East Coast to Savannah after taking advantage of the wider Panama Canal to transport cargo from Asia.
Source: Georgia Ports Authority
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) expects a higher ratio of vessels ranging from 8,000-10,000 TEUs to call the Port of Savannah during the next year, Griff Lynch, the agency’s new executive director, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Within two years, we expect market shifts to send 12,000-TEU vessels to the U.S. East Coast,” he added.
His comments were made as Savannah welcomed the 10,100-TEU MOL Benefactor to the Garden City Terminal, where more than 3,000 import and export containers are scheduled to be handled. The MOL Benefactor is the largest ship to call the Port of Savannah and marks a new era in shipping, having been one of the first vessels to transit the new locks of the expanded Panama Canal.
The MOL Benefactor serves on the G6 Alliance’s NYX service. According to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting, the G6 Alliance members launched the NYX with the June 7 departure of the MOL Benefactor from Qingdao. The loop operates with 10 vessels with an average capacity of 10,089 TEUs and a rotation of Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan, Manzanillo (PA), New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Manzanillo (PA), Busan and Qingdao.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with funding contribution from the state of Georgia, is currently working on a multi-year project to deepen the Savannah River to 47 feet. The outer harbor, which will be dredged to 49 feet at mean low water, is now 15 percent complete, according to the GPA.
Other investments being made by the GPA include eight new super-post Panamax (or neo-panamax) cranes, bringing the port’s total to 30 ship-to-shore cranes. The GPA has also added 30 rubber-tired gantry cranes for stacking containers in the yard. The Garden City Terminal is equipped with 146 RTGs, more the any other container terminal in the United States, the GPA said.
The MOL Benefactor’s next stop on its way back to Asia is the Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama.