September 28, 2023

August volumes fall 28% from year-ago highs at Port of Savannah


Port of Savannah volumes slumped year over year (y/y) in August amid gains for rail volumes at the Georgia port’s Garden City Terminal.

August volumes totaled 413,300 twenty-foot equivalent units at the port, which is 28% lower than August 2022, the busiest month on record for the Georgia Ports Authority.

Port volumes softened amid some ongoing construction work, according to GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch. 

“We are in the midst of rebuilding some of our berths, which has reduced our operating capacity in August,” Lynch said Tuesday. 

The container berth 1 renovation is now complete with four new cranes operating, while four more new crane installations will be completed by the end of the year. The renovations will enable Garden City Terminal to simultaneously serve seven ships, including four vessels with a capacity of more than 16,000 TEUs, GPA said. 

Despite the y/y dip, Georgia Ports reported increases in other areas in August, particularly for rail. Garden City Terminal at the Port of Savannah handled 49,115 containers, a 6% increase compared with August 2022. Intermodal cargo represented 21.6% of total containers, which is 7% higher y/y, GPA said.

The Mason Mega Rail Terminal is also fully operational, according to Lynch. Meanwhile, GPA and Class I Eastern U.S. rail carrier CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) announced earlier this month that they are offering an intermodal service that will provide a direct rail connection between the Port of Savannah and CSX’s intermodal terminal in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The service will run seven days a week and have a ship-to-shore time of about three days.

Other volumes grew in August for GPA: Roll-on/roll-off cargo grew by 8% to 61,300 units, with Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick handling the bulk of that volume, moving 59,720 units. 

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