Busy July boosts GPA container trade 12.7 percent


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The Georgia Ports Authority achieved its second busiest month on record for containerized trade in July. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority)


SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 13, 2018 – The Georgia Ports Authority moved 378,767 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUS) in July, an increase of 12.7 percent, or 42,668 TEUs, compared to the same month last year. It was the second busiest month on record for the Port of Savannah.

“July was an incredible start to our fiscal year, with double-digit growth across our container, breakbulk and dry bulk operations,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

In Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017—June 2018), rail cargo at Garden City Terminal increased by 16 percent (60,000 containers) for a total of 435,000 intermodal rail lifts. July continued that trend, with the busiest month on record for intermodal cargo, at 41,070 container moves, for an increase of 20.8 percent (7,087 containers) compared to July 2017.

“Greater capacity, via cost-effective 14,000-TEU vessels transiting the Panama Canal, makes Savannah an even more competitive option to serve the Eastern U.S.,” said Lynch. “This, in part, is driving an increase in rail moves to markets such as Memphis and Nashville.”

Since Fiscal Year 2016, the GPA has seen its container trade grow by nearly 16 percent, or an additional 560,000 TEUs. However, turn times for motor carriers and rail operations have not increased.

“Georgia has simply built a superior logistics solution and our customers and carriers are responding,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “We continue to deliver a congestion-free terminal operation, even with record growth.”

Allgood said GPA’s increasing trade has positive ripple effects throughout Georgia’s economy.

“Many jobs are being created in the logistics industry and beyond due to the growing business through Georgia’s ports,” Allgood said. “From 2014 to 2017, the University of Georgia found a 19 percent rise in jobs supported by the ports, or 70,000 additional positions, for a total of nearly 440,000 jobs supported by Georgia’s ports.”

Total GPA tonnage in July grew by 10.5 percent, or nearly 300,000 tons, for a total of 3.15 million tons. Breakbulk tonnage crossing all docks increased by 14.4 percent (33,494 tons) in July for a total of 265,891 tons of cargo. At East River Terminal in Brunswick, bulk cargo grew by 43 percent. Terminal operator Logistec moved an additional 29,670 tons last month, for a total of 98,483.

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, the GPA handled 53,419 units of autos and machinery, an increase of 5 percent, or 2,610 units, compared to July 2017. Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick moved the majority of that Ro/Ro cargo, accounting for 50,850 units of the total.

Find print-quality images of port operations here. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017. 

For more information, visit, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855.