The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), which runs the container port of Savannah and the breakbulk, bulk, and roll-on, roll-off (Ro/Ro) port of Brunswick, said today that it reported its busiest April ever and that Savannah is on track to handle more than 4 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers in fiscal 2018, a record for the port.
Savannah handled 356,700 TEUs in April, a 7.1-percent increase from the same period in fiscal 2017. Fiscal year to date—its year ends June 30—the port handled more than 3.4 million boxes, an 8.8-percent gain over the first 10 months of fiscal 2017. Its previous record of 3.85 million TEUs was set last fiscal year.
Savannah, the nation's fourth-busiest container port behind Los Angeles and Long Beach in California and New York/New Jersey, is expected to move more than 300,000 boxes during each month of the current fiscal year, GPA said. That would be a first for the port, according to the Authority. In a related development, the GPA board has approved $66 million in terminal upgrades. Of that, $24 million are earmarked for 10 rubber-tired gantry cranes, which lift containers for stacking and "grounding," the latter being where a box is safely parked to avoid damage to the contents.
The 10 cranes will bring to 156 the number of gantry cranes operating at Savannah's formidable Garden City Terminal. The new cranes will support three new container rows, which the board approved in March. The additional rows will increase the port's annual capacity by 150,000 TEUs. The gantry cranes work over stacks that are five containers high and six deep, with a truck lane running alongside the stacks. The cranes will have a lift capacity of 50 metric tons.
The cranes will arrive in two batches of five in the first and second quarters of calendar year 2019, GPA said.