The Georgia Ports Authority reported its busiest month ever for containerized trade in August, handling 437,750 twenty-foot equivalent units, a 16.5% increase over last August, port officials said today.
The activity marked a strong start to peak season, when retailers import merchandise for the busy holiday shopping period. GPA handled eight extra ships over its regular 37 weekly vessel calls, adding nearly 20,000 TEUs to the August volume, port officials said.
"We're seeing an early and strong start to peak season at the Port of Savannah," GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a statement announcing the monthly results. "In addition to expanding trade on our regular weekly services, shipping lines are adding calls by sweeper ships to meet rising demand."
Lynch also said the industrial vacancy rate at the port remains low; of structures offering 100,000 square feet or more, the vacancy rate is 1.42%. He said GPA is calling for more private investment, pointing to the addition of five million square feet of distribution space over the past two years at the Savannah River International Trade Park. Earlier this month, the GPA board approved $3.75 million in road improvement projects to avoid truck congestion at the park, GPA officials said.