The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has reported 12.3 percent container volume growth in December by moving 292,172 TEUs, an increase of 32,099 TEUs compared to December 2015, and sets a new record for the GPA.
Roll-on/Roll-off cargo mirrored that growth, with a 12.3 percent increase (7,000 units) in passenger vehicles and heavy equipment handled at Colonel’s Island terminal in Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah. Georgia’s deepwater ports moved 63,967 Ro/Ro units last month.
Executive Director Griff Lynch said that several factors led to GPA’s December record growth. “Strategic proximity to major population and manufacturing sites, direct interstate access and the most ocean carrier routes in the U.S. Southeast are the competitive advantages drawing customers to our ports. As the largest single-terminal operation in the nation, Savannah’s advantages are unmatched in the industry.”
The GPA broke ground last month on its new inland terminal in Northwest Georgia, the Appalachian Regional Port, in an effort to stay ahead of demand and accommodate future needs. Port officials are estimating the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 50,000 moves annually, and expand GPA’s target market in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Each container moved by rail from the inland terminal will offset 355 truck miles on Georgia highways.
“GPA’s track record of operational excellence over the past decade more than prepares it to achieve great things at the Appalachian Regional Port,” said Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “This is the next step in our transition, moving additional cargo to rail, allowing more capacity on our interstates, and extending GPA’s competitive benefits farther into the American heartland.”