The Port of Savannah had busier volume last month than any March on record, as measured by both containerized cargo and intermodal rail volume, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) said today.
The port handled more than 410,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) last month, an increase of 15.5 percent, while rail volumes spiked by 26 percent for a total of 82,135 TEUs.
In addition, GPA said it achieved a record low dwell time for intermodal boxes in March, with containers averaging just 27 hours from vessel to outbound rail. GPA did not disclose its typical dwell times.
Port leaders said they are continuing work on expansion projects to manage the rising swell of trade, led by the Mason Mega Rail project, which will double the Port of Savannah's rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year. That project is now 25 percent complete, with the first phase on target to will come online by October 2019, and the second phase to become operational by the end of 2020.
"Our rail expansion will allow Garden City Terminal to accommodate additional 10,000-foot long unit trains and provide direct rail service to inland markets such as St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati," GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said in a release. "By stepping up to the plate to bring on additional rail capacity, we are expanding the size and scope of Georgia's market reach."
GPA's March statistics follow an announcement in January that it had moved a record number of container units in calendar year 2018, due in part to a nationwide scramble by ports to meet the annual holiday peak shopping rush and to fill U.S. warehouses amid escalations in the Trump Administration's trade war with China.
JUST #ANNOUNCED: #Port of #Savannah achieves #record March. Total container trade up 15%, rail #containers up 26%. Read more: https://t.co/2py4ihEbw7. #GeorgiaPorts #shipping #logistics #intermodal pic.twitter.com/Ty2b34qt9i— Georgia Ports (@GaPorts) April 4, 2019