Records set in containers moved, total tonnage, and truck and intermodal moves made August an impressive month for the Georgia Ports Authority, Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported to the GPA board Monday.
“Although we set new records in many categories during August, challenges remain in many of the global markets important to future trade volumes,” Foltz said.
Total tonnage in August reached 2.5 million tons, up 8.5% over the previous August, an increase of 196,674 tons. For the first two months of FY2014, the GPA has moved 4.74 million tons of freight across all docks, an increase of 219,317 tons, or 4.8%.
For the month, the GPA moved 280,873 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), for a 3.8% increase over August 2012. Measured by containers, the GPA moved 156,979 units in August, 30,331 of which were moved by intermodal rail. The rail moves are up 3% over the same month in the previous year, when the GPA moved 29,455 intermodal containers.
“The record intermodal volumes are supported by economic and environmental benefits of rail transport,” Foltz said. “Our strong partnerships with CSX and Norfolk Southern have increased our rail participation to over 19% of total throughput.
August saw 180,572 truck moves at the Garden City Terminal, another high for the Port of Savannah.
While it was not a record month for bulk cargo, the GPA still achieved significant growth in that sector. Over the four and a half week period, bulk cargo accounted for 188,872 tons, up 51,781 tons or 37.8% compared to August 2012. Fiscal year-to-date growth was even more dramatic, rising by 112,000 to reach 363,786 tons of bulk cargo for a 44.5% jump compared to the same period in 2012.
“As new and existing customers increase volumes moved through the ports of Savannah and Brunswick, our facilities continue to grow – not only in tonnage and TEUs, but also in their impact on the nation’s economy,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8% of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.9% of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2013.