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More Container Moves as GPA Herald Switch to Bigger Ships

Written by Maritime First

The Georgia Ports Authority’s Port of Savannah moved an all-time high 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in 2015, an increase of 11.7 percent compared to the cargo handled in 2014.

Total tonnage across all terminals reached a record 31.48 million tons in 2015, an increase of 1.09 million tons, or 3.6 percent, the port said.

Container tonnage accounted for most of that growth, up 4 percent, reaching a total of 25.81 million tons.

Bulk cargo added 60,705 tons, up 2.2 percent, to reach 2.86 million, while breakbulk cargo grew 1.7 percent, to reach 2.79 million tons.

“The expansion was fueled in part by heightened demand in the U.S. Southeast, Savannah’s logistical advantages drawing new customers to Georgia, and cargo diverted from the West Coast,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA Executive Director.

Currently featuring 22 ship-to-shore cranes, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal will add four cranes this year as previously purchased machines are put into service.

Additionally, the GPA board approved the purchase of four new ship-to-shore cranes for the Port of Savannah, which will arrive in the late spring of 2018 and increase the total number of cranes to 30.

According to GPA, the crane purchases, along with the ongoing Savannah Harbor deepening, anticipate a move in the world fleet toward larger ships.

Namely, the average vessel calling on the U.S. East Coast is shifting from a capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units to more than 10,000 TEUs. What is more, an expanded Panama Canal will open to these larger vessels this year, providing an important new route for the more efficient ships.

World Maritime News

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Maritime First