Georgia Ports Authority

Infrastructure: Port of Savannah / Georgia Ports Authority

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in sales and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. (Georgia Ports Authority)

The Port of Savannah

The Port of Savannah is the largest single container terminal in the United States. In FY2015, it handled 3.7 million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) in throughput. FY2015 had the highest volume in the Port of Savannah’s history.

The Port of Savannah moved 8.2% of total U.S. containerized loaded cargo volume and more than 18% of the East Coast container trade. The port handled 10% of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2014, a total of 1.3 million loaded TEUs. The port serves approximately 21,000 companies in all 50 states, more than 75% of which are headquartered outside of Georgia.

The Port of Savannah offers its customers many advantages:

  • The most global services among U.S. Southeast & Gulf ports
  • Asian transit times as low as 22 days and 11-day express service to and from Europe
  • GPA is owner & operator of the largest single-terminal container facility (Garden City) in the U.S. which also features the longest contiguous dock in the U.S. – 9,693 feet
  • Largest Southeast refrigerated container export terminal • One-of-a-kind infrastructure featuring two intermodal container transfer facilities located on a single terminal served by CSX Transportation & Norfolk Southern Railroad
  • Inspection offices for U.S. Customs & Border Protection and Dept. of Agriculture are on-terminal
  • Immediate access to two major interstate highways – I-95 (North/South) and I-16 (East/West) • Largest concentration of retail import distribution centers (DCs) along the East Coast
  • Client Relations Center – one-stop customer solutions group for all port users

The Georgia Ports Authority operates two deepwater terminals in Savannah – Garden City and Ocean Terminal:

Garden City Terminal:

  • A 500-foot channel width and a secured, dedicated 1,200-acre single-terminal container facility
  • 1.4 million square feet of covered storage, including 722,000 square feet of cold storage off terminal

Ocean Terminal:

  • A 200.4 -acre general cargo terminal features 9 berths totaling 5,768 linear feet
  • Handles RoRo, breakbulk, containers, heavy-lift and project cargo
  • Over 1.4 million square feet of covered storage

For More Information contact the Georgia Ports Authority,

912.964.3855 / 800.342.8012

Forecast: The Ports

The Georgia Ports Authority experienced a year of record growth across the board in FY2015: the Port of Savannah moved more than 32 million tons (8.2% of all U.S. containerized cargo), 3.7 million twenty-foot equivalent cargo units (TEUs), and 714,000 vehicular units. TEU growth was about 17% on an annual basis (fiscal year). Although growth declined in the third quarter of 2015, this is attributed to the easing of labor strife at west coast ports, a stronger dollar, and moderating economic growth overseas. Nonetheless, third quarter data remain on-trend and therefore, more likely to be sustainable in 2016 and into the longer-term.  In data through September, over-the-year growth is 7.4%.  

By deepening the Savannah River channel to 47 feet, the port be able to more efficiently serve the larger vessels expected to call in greater numbers after the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed. Deeper water will allow the larger Post-Panamax vessels to operate more efficiently and experience fewer delays, thereby reducing transportation costs by 20% or more. The nation’s economy is expected to recoup construction cost in four years, according to the Army Corps’ economic impact assessment. According to the Georgia Ports Authority, the 21,000 businesses that rely on the Port of Savannah are projected to save $174 million a year through increases transportation efficiency.

It is finally happening! Dredging of the harbor’s outer channel, located 17 miles from Ft. Pulaski, began in September of 2015 and is expected to be completed by July 2018. Currently, there are 40 workers living on the dredge and operating the equipment 24 hours a day. Additionally, several harbor deepening mitigation projects commenced in 2015. Recovery operations for the confederate ironclad, CSS Georgia, are yielding exceptional artifacts, including a 9,000 pound Dahlgren rifled cannon, leg-irons, and unexploded munitions, among other things. The effort is expected to cost from nine to fourteen million dollars. Additionally, a $100 million contract was awarded to install oxygen bubblers in the Savannah River to maintain ecosystem-healthy oxygen levels during the summer months. Lastly, a $40 million contract was awarded to construct a 17 acre reservoir on Abercorn Creek in Effingham County to supplement the City of Savannah’s water supply. Construction will begin in 2016.

For More Information contact the Georgia Ports Authority, 912.964.3855 or 800.342.8012.

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