Ports on the East and West Coasts reported strong cargo volume in July, with officials citing the continued strength of regional and national economies in early August.
Today, the Georgia Ports Authority reported 10.5 percent growth in July intermodal cargo volume, adding that the Port of Savannah has grown its overall rail volume by more than 35 percent in the last three years, completing more than 507,000 intermodal lifts in its fiscal year ended June 30. Savannah's intermodal success helped drive the port to its busiest July ever for overall container trade, officials also said, with 387,024 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), an increase of 2.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
"We're moving containers from ship to outgoing rail in less than 24 hours at the Port of Savannah," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "That world-class service is why we're capturing more business to inland destinations, and converting more cargo from truck to rail."
The growth comes as the first sections of new rail track have become operational on the port's Mason Mega Rail, terminal, which officials said is 40 percent complete. The project, which is expected to be finished in 2020, will double the Port of Savannah's rail lift capability to 1 million containers per year, port officials also said.
On the West Coast, Port of Oakland leaders reported record July container volume on August 9, noting that it was the first time the port has crossed the 90,000-container threshold in a single month. The port handled 90,598 TEUs, surpassing its previous record of 87,207 containers set in June 2018. July import volume was up 7.5 percent compared to the year-ago period.
"This is the fourth time import volume has increased in the past five months," Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said in a statement. "This demonstrates the continued strength of the U.S. economy and consumer purchasing power."