The authority moved 3.85 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) container units in the 12 months ended in June, up 6.7 percent from the prior year. But the growth in container traffic was particularly strong from January to June, when traffic grew 11.6 percent at the Savannah port over the same six months a year ago.
“Our volume growth continues to outpace forecasted demand,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a news release. “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.”
He said the crane purchase, along with four already on order, will enable GPA to increase crane capacity by nearly 40 percent.
“Our customers are choosing to use Savannah and Georgia as a gateway to the Southeast,” Lynch said in an interview. The Savannah port was one of a handful of Eastern ports to be paid visits by the two largest container ships to ever dock on the East Coast.
“When the ocean carriers realigned their services Savannah has been a beneficiary of that,” he said.
The volume gain comes as work continues on a massive, nearly $1 billion channel-deepening project aimed at keeping the Savannah port competitive.
J. Scott Trubey is the economy and environment editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously served as a business reporter for the AJC covering banking, real estate and economic development. Trubey is also a former investigative reporter, with a specialty in banking, real estate and public corruption. He joined the AJC in 2010.