The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has acquired 145 contiguous acres to the Port of Savannah as part of an existing, long-term expansion project, port officials said Tuesday.
The addition is the largest in Savannah in more than 20 years and is equal to more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in annual capacity, officials said. The acquisition is part of a larger blueprint to increase GPA's capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030, officials also said.
"As the Georgia Ports Authority enters its 75th year, we are proud to follow in the tradition of those who came before us, making exciting advances in capacity and technology to ensure our terminals remain at the forefront of global commerce," GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a statement announcing the expansion plans. "This is the largest addition of container terminal space in Savannah in more than 20 years, and represents a powerful opportunity for Georgia to take on new trade."
Also part of the expansion, GPA's Garden City Terminal can now serve three 14,000-TEU vessels and up to eight vessels simultaneously thanks to recently completed dock construction; and by 2023 the port expects to add an additional berth for a total of four big ship vessel slots, officials said.
Lynch also unveiled a new program that solicits innovative solutions to maritime logistics problems. Aimed at Georgia college students, the GET SET program is a competition for sustainability, efficiency, and technology solutions designed to ease challenges at the ports. GPA will work with universities across the state to integrate the GET SET program into their curricula over the next year.
"The GET SET program is a competitive juried contest for college students in Georgia, in which they will be challenged to put forth innovative solutions to issues faced by the maritime logistics community," Lynch said. "Students or student teams submitting winning entries will receive a cash prize totaling $25,000."
The first prize will be awarded in the summer of 2021, Lynch said.