The Georgia Ports Authority continues to move forward with an aggressive plan to enhance its terminal operations. In fact, GPA anticipates spending $4.5 billion over the next 12 years to expand its container-handling capabilities.
Straightening a bend in Container Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal will provide another big ship berth, allowing the Port of Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels, as well as three additional ships. The project will add 1.5 million TEUs per year of berth capacity, for a new total of 7.5 million TEUs per year. The berth realignment project is 75 percent finished. Slated for completion in July 2023.
In tandem with the expanded berth, GPA has ordered eight new ship-to-shore cranes for Garden City Terminal. The first four are set to arrive in February, while the next four will arrive by the end of 2023.
GPA is transforming the 200-acre Ocean Terminal into a container-only facility. The terminal will be modified in two phases. Work will begin with rebuilding the docks to provide 2,800 linear feet of berth space, capable of serving two big ships simultaneously. The docks will be served by another eight new ship-to-shore cranes. The project will also bring expanded gates and paving to allow for 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent container units of annual capacity. Wharf renovations are underway with completion of the entire terminal redevelopment expected in 2026.
GARDEN CITY TERMINAL WEST EXPANSION
Ninety acres are being developed as a container yard, supported by 15 electric rubber-tired gantry cranes. This project will add 1 million TEUs of annual capacity, coming online in phases in 2023 and 2024.
Construction is also under way for a cross-docking warehouse planned for another 90 acres of land just upriver from Garden City Terminal. The facility will allow customers to transition goods from 40-foot shipping containers to 53-foot over-the-road trailers for delivery to stores and warehouses. This project will be served by a yard with nine electric rubber-tired gantry cranes and provide an annual capacity of 400,000 TEUs. The expansion is scheduled for completion in July 2023.
PEAK CAPACITY PROJECT
The project has added 1.2 million TEUs of annual capacity by expanding container yard space on Garden City Terminal.
MEGA RAIL PROJECT
The 85-acre Mason Mega Rail Terminal is the largest of its kind for a port terminal in North America. In November 2021, GPA commissioned the final set of nine working tracks (total, 18) at the rail yard. Upon full completion, the project will double the Port of Savannah’s previous rail capacity to 2 million TEUs per year.
GPA plans to shift breakbulk cargo carried by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean to Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick. Construction has started on 350,000 square feet of near-dock warehousing that will serve auto processing, including a 200,000 square-foot fumigation warehouse and a 150,000 square-foot first-point-of-rest warehouse for high and heavy material. Three additional buildings and 85 acres of auto storage space are under construction on the south side of the island. The additional acreage will increase Brunswick’s Roll-on/Roll-off capacity from 1,225,000 to 1,410,000 vehicles per year. The new pavement and buildings are slated to be completed in 2023.
Additionally, GPA recently received federal approval to add a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island. The project will more efficiently accommodate the larger 7,000-plus-unit vehicle carrier vessels that are becoming the industry standard at U.S. ports.