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Ports report increasing activity
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SAVANNAH — Georgia Ports Authority’s Chairman of the Board Steve Green announced Thursday the GPA handled more than 2.4 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers), added additional services and maintained its position as America’s fourth-highest volume container port in fiscal year 2009.
“I would like to thank the men and women of the GPA and the entire maritime community for their invaluable contributions over the course of a very difficult year,” Green said.
During the fiscal year, the GPA experienced a 10.5 percent decrease in total TEUs and a 12.4 percent decline in total tonnage for all terminal facilities, including Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus and Savannah. However, according to the Port Import Export Reporting Service, total containerized trade to the U.S. experienced a decline of 30 percent for the first six months of 2009.
“We continued to make gains with our international carriers despite the global economic crisis,” said GPA Executive Director Doug J. Marchand. “In the past six months, 11 new or reconfigured services have started calling on the Port of Savannah. Two of these services have opened the doors for new markets for Georgia’s products in the Caribbean and Central America.
“The performance of Georgia’s ports relative to other ports is the result of a series of strategic expansions and new investments,” Marchand said.
In fiscal year 2009, the GPA purchased four additional super post-panamax cranes and 15 rubber-tired gantry cranes and completed the following projects:
• Chatham intermodal container transfer facility made the Port of Savannah the only single facility on the U.S. East Coast with two on-terminal ICTFs.
• Upgrade of two container berths and three container yards created additional capacity.
• 480 additional refrigerated container positions on terminal eliminated all diesel-powered generators serving the cold storage sector
• An additional 12,000-ton grain tank on Colonel’s Island in Brunswick stores bulk commodities.
• Colonel’s Island southside infrastructure projects including water, rail and lights created additional auto and grain processing capacity.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $14.9 billion in income, $55.8 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.
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