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GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY GETS EVEN BIGGER SHIP READY

Georgia ports

GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY GETS EVEN BIGGER SHIP READY

The completion of Garden City Terminal dock construction allows the Port of Savannah to serve three 14,000-TEU vessels as well as up to eight vessels simultaneously. But now the Georgia Ports Authority has announced the acquisition of 145 contiguous acres to the port that will allow for more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in annual capacity.

“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,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference on Feb. 4. “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.”

Construction currently underway at the Ocean Terminal container yard is expected to be completed by the end of this year. An additional berth to be finished by 2023 will mean Garden City Terminal will have four big ship slots. A new Savannah Container Terminal on Hutchinson Island is projected to come online in 2025. The GPA’s goal is to increase its capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy, according to the GPA.

ro/ro

DOMINATE AND EXPAND: THIS STRATEGY PROPELS RO/RO LEADING PORTS OF BALTIMORE AND SAVANNAH/BRUNSWICK

Being the Nos. 1 & 2 busiest roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) ports in the nation isn’t quite good enough for the ports of Baltimore and Savannah/Brunswick. At least the Maryland Port Authority and Georgia Ports Authority are not resting on their laurels, anyway. These East Coast ports are doing their best to maintain their top-two rankings through initiatives such as investments in expansion and training programs for warehouse workers that are designed to increase efficiency and reduce damage and accidents in the loading/unloading process.

These growth initiatives are helping to not just cement the ports’ statuses in the Ro/Ro world—Baltimore has been the No. 1 Ro/Ro port in the United States for eight years running—but it’s making them even more desirable and competitive places for automobile manufacturers to do business.

Port of Baltimore

The Port of Baltimore continues to expand and thrive despite an uncertain trade climate. Larry Johnson, sales manager of Trade Development, Automotive, credits his port’s success to efforts to maintain positive relationships with their automotive industry partners, keeping those industry partners loyal.

One such partner, Volkswagen Group of America, recently began a partnership with Port of Baltimore to begin importing vehicles through the Tradeport Atlantic in Sparrows Point, which could provide an increase of 120,000 vehicles annually—and an additional 100 jobs.

The port also benefits from its proximity to the Midwest—it’s the closest seaport to Middle America—and with top notch services like efficient rail, cargo can get to destinations faster than from any other port on the East Coast. Baltimore’s strategic location is within two-thirds of the U.S. with just an overnight drive.

The Baltimore port’s training initiatives have helped cultivate the lowest damage rates in the industry. The port has also pioneered a program, Ro/Ro Rodeo, which is an intensive class to educate manufacturers in the highly specialized processes required to handle each specific type of vehicle that is processed through the port. Ro/Ro Rodeo has even developed a program for the highly specialized processing of farm and other industrial equipment

With almost 200 acres of pavement at the Dundalk Marine Terminal alone, the Port of Baltimore consistently breaks its own records for Ro/Ro processes, often increasing its volume as frequently as month to month, and their investments in expansion and training will likely keep that volume increasing for years to come.

“The Port of Baltimore is the No. 1 auto port in the nation and continues to break cargo records every month,” says Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in the September/October 2019 edition of Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore Magazine. “Our administration is committed to furthering this growth and strongly supports our great port and its thousands of hardworking men and women handling the millions of tons of cargo coming in throughout the year.”

Ports of Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is the No. 2 Ro/Ro port in the United States. Its Port of Savannah increased volume almost 250,000 TEUs in 2019, according to the GPA. This growth of 5.6 percent over the previous year came at a time when auto sales are actually dropping–a true testament to the hard work of the port employees at Savannah and Brunswick.

A banner year for the ports, the Ocean Terminal recently won contracts with both Volvo and General Motors. The Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick is a Ro/Ro-only port that is already home to International Auto Processing, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions and Mercedes Benz USA.

The GPA properties are undergoing an expansion that will eventually create an additional 150,000 spaces for automobiles, bumping their processing capacity from 900,000 annually to 1.5 million. There are currently three dedicated Ro/Ro berths that process cargo via nine different steamship lines.

“Both Savannah and Brunswick are outperforming the market, with Garden City container trade growing at a rate three times faster than the U.S. total, and Brunswick Ro/Ro units increasing despite a drop in U.S. vehicle sales in 2019,” says GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight in a Jan. 28 statement.

Growth Despite Uncertainty

Strategic locations, ample space and work ethics that include faster cargo processing, in-depth training and safety records that far eclipse many competing ports are just a few reasons that these ports are leading the pack in Ro/Ro. With the onset of trade tariffs, such as those imposed on China, and reports that the United States’ manufacturing industry has experienced slowed growth recently, these ports have nevertheless managed to increase growth consistently. Growth when economic uncertainly looms large is a true testament to the power of excellent service and sound investment.

If these and other Ro/Ro ports can continue to capitalize on trends such as exporting goods to other countries competing for business with China, they will have learned that they can not just maintain their positions in the Ro/Ro processing rankings, but keep growing.

Kia Estimates Exporting 3,000 Tellurides per Year

Automaker Kia and the Port of Brunswick celebrated the first of its new Telluride vehicles preparing for export at the Port. The automaker’s newest SUV’s were loaded onto the Port’s RoRo vessel, Sirius, with a final destination for ports in the Arabian peninsula region.

“The company’s decision to build the Telluride here in Georgia is a testament to the caliber of hardworking men and women at the company’s West Point, Georgia, plant,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said. “Having created more than 14,000 jobs for Georgians, Kia is an outstanding corporate citizen, and we commend them for their commitment to innovation, quality, and growth.”

“Through continuous investment and expansion of infrastructure at the 1,700-acre facility, Brunswick is prepared to take on new business from Kia and other manufacturers,” said Georgia Ports Authority Chief Administrative Officer Jamie McCurry. “As the single largest and second busiest U.S. hub for automotive trade, the Port of Brunswick moved more than 600,000 units last year.”

According to information released from the automaker and Port, Kia anticipates exporting an estimated 3,000 Tellurides per year. The Telluride stands as the most technically advanced and largest vehicle for Kia.

“For 10 years, we have been proud to support the thousands of jobs Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia provides in West Point, through efficient, reliable port services via Savannah,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Today marks an important development, as KMMG branches out from the domestic market in a major way to export vehicles made in America.”

GA Foreign Trade Conference: Maritime-Focused

Georgia Ports Authority brings together senior-level shippers, maritime executives, senior managers and decision-makers who discuss current and future market conditions and growth opportunities at the annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference.

This year’s event will be held at the beautiful Cloister on Sea Island and features business sessions that address challenges facing shippers, carriers, ports, terminals, and the maritime community. Named as one of North America’s premier annual networking events, experts from all over the country will gain insight and strategic competitive business solutions during the three-day event.

From OEMs to stevedores and international port management, the conference provides critical industry knowledge and expert discussions on topics from changing legislation and new technologies impacting global trade that can enable success in 2019. If you or your company play a role in moving international freight, this conference is a must.

In addition to the priceless networking and education provided, the conference also caters to the golf-enthusiast through the nearby Sea Island Golf Club and its beautiful ocean views.

Don’t miss out on the conference that brings the most to its attendees. For more information on registration and the agenda, visit: gaforeigntrade.com

Source: Georgia Foreign Trade Conference