Savannah predicts 4-million-TEU traffic within 15 years
Doug J. Marchand, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said Thursday the port of Savannah anticipates 150 percent growth and will handle “at least 4 million TEUs” a year in less than 15 years.
A traffic of 4 million TEUs is equivalent to the total box volume handled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2003.
Such a volume would also represent a large increase over the 1.6 million TEUs that crossed the docks of Savannah during fiscal year 2004.
Like other U.S. East Coast ports, Savannah has experienced a surge in Asian container traffic, as shippers and carriers have increasingly opted to move cargoes via all-water Asia/U.S. East Coast shipping routes.
Marchand said the port will accommodate this growth by completing new facilities and infrastructure improvements.
Beyond necessary road, rail and infrastructure improvements, Marchand said GPA has projected the need for 30 to 40 million additional square feet of warehouse space to accommodate anticipated growth.
Job training is also an important part of preparing for future growth, Marchand said. “Construction, port operators, transportation services and distribution centers will all continue to create tens of thousands of new jobs in and around Savannah,” he said.
Over the past 15 years, between fiscal years 1990 and 2004, total tonnage at the port of Savannah rose 124 percent to 14.1 million, whereas container traffic jumped 289 percent to 1.6 million TEUs.