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Georgia Ports report record increases in goods moved
The Georgia Ports Authority has on order 10 new ship-to-shore cranes that will dramatically increase vessel loading capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1,300 containers per hour - more than any other single terminal in North America. - photo by GPA photo

SAVANNAH— At its July board meeting, the Georgia Ports Authority reported record fiscal year results and approved the purchase of six new ship-to-shore cranes.

In FY2017, the GPA moved an all-time high of 3.85 million 20-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 6.7 percent, or 242,221 TEUs over the previous year, according to an authority news release. In the last half of the fiscal year alone, the Port of Savannah handled 1.99 million TEUs, for a growth rate of 11.6 percent over the same period in FY2016.

“We could not have achieved this record-breaking year without the hard work and outstanding dedication of our employees,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said. “Our volume growth continues to outpace forecasted demand. Shipping lines are moving 13,000- and 14,000-TEU vessels into service on the East Coast more quickly than anticipated, and concentrating their deliveries at efficient gateway ports like Savannah. This new crane purchase, along with the four already on order, will enable GPA to increase crane capacity by nearly 40 percent.”

The release said the authority capped the fiscal year with its busiest June ever, moving 337,710 TEUs for growth of 17 percent for the month. In FY 2017, the GPA moved 33.4 million tons of cargo across all terminals, another all-time high and an 8.3 percent increase over FY2016.

“Phenomenal cargo growth on this scale is made possible by the strong partnership we enjoy with the International Longshoremen’s Association, the unwavering support of Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly, and the confidence our customers have in Georgia’s ports,” GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said.

At the meeting Monday, the board approved $72.75 million to buy six more Neopanamax ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will arrive in 2020, and are in addition to a previous order of four cranes that will be operational next June. The combined 10 additional cranes will bring the fleet to 36, able to move more than 1,300 containers per hour across a single dock — a capacity unmatched by any other single terminal in North America.

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