SAVANNAH — The Georgia Ports Authority achieved its highest month on record in March, moving 2.61 million tons of cargo — a 15.5 percent increase over the same month a year ago.
The 349,682-ton increase was powered largely by double-digit container growth. The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal moved 260,539 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) during the month, up by 28,000 TEUs or 12 percent.
“A combination of new customers and retail outlets increasing inventory before the busy summer season factored into our success,” Executive Director Curtis Foltz said. “Meanwhile, at our dedicated auto port, we’re seeing an increase in volume as more carmakers choose the Port of Brunswick as their gateway to the Southeastern U.S.”
A record number of roll-on/roll-off units — more than 64,000 cars, trucks and tractors — crossed GPA docks in March, a 21 percent improvement over year-ago figures.
Strong March cargo volumes built on the previous eight months to deliver a 6.8 percent fiscal-year-to-date (FYTD) increase in TEUs, for a total of 2.31 million. Cargo moved by rail accounted for 254,263 containers FYTD, or about 19.8 percent of total container volume. Ro/Ro traffic has seen even stronger growth for the FYTD, reaching 503,091 units for a 7.4 percent (34,452-unit) improvement.
The GPA closed the third quarter having moved a FYTD total of 21.8 million tons of freight. An 8.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year added 1.7 million tons for the current total.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.