GPA is growing. Why should you care?


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Added capacity delivers velocity, flexibility


With $1.9 billion in investments under way, the Georgia Ports Authority is paving the way for 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in annual capacity in 2023, and 10 million TEUs by 2026.

But what does GPA’s growth mean for customers? Why should they care?

It’s about increased flexibility and velocity, greater reach and streamlined supply chains, GPA leaders say.

When renovations are complete on Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal this month, the additional space coupled with the largest ship-to-shore cranes on the U.S. East Coast will mean faster service for container cargo.

“Vessels will come in and out of the port quicker, and beneficial cargo owners will have access to their cargo faster than any other port, reducing their overall lead time,” said Flavio Batista, GPA vice president of sales and marketing. “Increased berth capacity will mean reduced wait time for carriers – saving them money, as well as the assurance Savannah can handle bigger ships deployed to the U.S. East Coast.”

Batista added that increased berth capacity will attract more services, and create opportunities for BCOs to expand connectivity to world markets.

A similar dynamic will play out when berth improvements at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal are completed in 2025 and 2026, allowing two big ships to dock there simultaneously. The project will also expand the Ocean Terminal container yard to include the entire 200-acre property – growing annual capacity there to approximately 2 million TEUs.


Also under construction is the Garden City Terminal West project. The new, lower-cost long-term storage yard will add another 100 acres and 1 million TEUs of annual capacity at a site adjacent to Garden City Terminal proper. This project is slated for completion in two phases in 2023 and 2024.

“For container ocean carriers as well as importers and exporters, the additional berth and terminal capacity will facilitate more efficient operations that will provide for container growth into the Southeastern U.S.,” said Bruce Kuzma, GPA vice president for ocean carrier and non-container sales. “That’s important because the Southeast is the fastest growing consumer market in the country.”


The recently completed Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah delivers 24 miles of track on 85 acres for the largest marine terminal rail facility in North America.

“GPA’s state-of-the-art intermodal service allows ocean carriers to offer their customers through-rates to more inland markets from their first port of call, streamlining the process for logistics managers,” said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy.

He added that expanding truck gates at Garden City Terminal West will benefit motor carriers and warehouse operators by allowing a higher volume of truck turns per day. Combined, the enhancements to truck and rail infrastructure provide customers with greater inland connectivity and more routing options.


Just upriver of Garden City Terminal, the 300,000 square-foot Savannah Transload Facility will move goods from containers to over-the-road trailers for faster order fulfillment.

“The benefit of transload facilities is the speed of delivery,” McCarthy said. “These services allow cargo to skip a distribution center and go directly from ship to shelf.”

The STF includes a yard with three container stacks served by rubber-tired gantry cranes, providing an annual capacity of 500,000 TEUs. Scheduled for completion in August 2023, the warehouse will be operated by a third-party logistics provider.


At the Port of Brunswick, construction has started on 350,000 square feet of near-dock warehousing that will serve auto and machinery processing at Colonel’s Island Terminal. Three additional buildings totaling 290,000 square feet and 122 acres of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo storage are under construction on the south side of the island.

“At Colonels Island, our investment in additional capacity and improvements will make this the premier Ro/Ro facility in the U.S., enabling auto and machinery manufacturers the opportunity to meet their growing import or export needs,” Kuzma said.

The new buildings start coming online in August 2023. The additional acreage will increase Brunswick’s Roll-on/Roll-off capacity from 1.2 million to 1.4 million vehicles per year, making it North America’s flagship Ro/Ro facility.


Batista pointed out that the fast-growing population of the Southeast will act as a draw for beneficial cargo owners and ocean carriers to increase their presence in the region.

“For such organizations to make long-term investments, they need some level of comfort that the port will be able to support their growth ambitions,” he said. “With the investments that GPA is making on berth, yard, transload and rail capacity, BCOs and ocean carriers can plan their growth in the Southeast for the next 10 years.”

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