From Griff Lynch: Growing GPA?s power to promote economic development


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The Port of Savannah marked a milestone with the first visit of the COSCO Development  — the largest containership to ever to call on the U.S. East Coast.

More than 5,500 containers crossed the GPA’s docks from the single vessel, a record for Georgia’s ports. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, port officials and members of the maritime community were on hand to welcome the vessel and observe the operation. 

This 13,000-TEU vessel represents the future of shipping, part of a growing trend in the ocean carrier business toward larger, more efficient vessels. During the ship’s time at dock, up to six cranes moved 10,000 TEUs, more than half the vessel’s entire volume for its maiden voyage to the East Coast.

The GPA, the International Longshoremen's Association and Ports America were able to achieve net berth productivity of more than 220 moves per hour on a day when the GPA and the International Longshoremen’s Association worked a total of seven vessels, moving more than 12,000 total containers or 21,600 TEUs.

Growth is happening not only in Savannah but also at the Port of Brunswick. At Colonel’s Island, more than 200 acres are in the design or development stages, bringing auto processing space to 547 acres.

Twenty-four of 50 acres purchased by Mercedes Benz were paved in May. Another 168 acres will be completed between mid-July and November, of which 124 acres have been leased. Previously, 20 acres for vehicle processing were completed and leased to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.

The long-term plan is to add another 510 acres on the island’s south side to support auto processing, doubling the capacity for cars and heavy machinery in Brunswick.

As the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and the Brunswick improvements progress, the Georgia Ports Authority’s ability to spur the nation’s economy will also grow.


Griff Lynch
GPA's Executive Director