Capacity expansion, cranes and infrastructure are the focuses for Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) in FY2021. The GPA announced the official approval of $305 million in projects to increase overall TEU capacity for the Port of Savannah from 6 million to 7.4 million.
The goal of meeting increased cargo volume includes support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the deepening of the Savannah Harbor. Additional projects include the re-purposing of property on Garden City Terminal and doubling GPA’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year through commissioning the second set of nine new working tracks at the Mason Mega Rail terminal.
The GPA has begun refurbishing Berth 1 at the Garden City Terminal to increase the dock capacity to include four 16,000-TEU vessels–the largest class of container ships currently serving the U.S. East Coast–as well as three additional ships. The greater efficiency possible when working one large vessel compared to multiple smaller ones will increase Savannah’s overall berth capacity and velocity of vessel service. This renovation alone will add 1 million TEUs per year of capacity for the berth.
The most recent additions completed by the GPA include the Appalachian Regional Port’s addition of six container storage bays, bringing the TEU slots to 390 for increased demand at the inland terminal and an overall capacity increase of 25,000 TEUs annually.
In February, the GPA commissioned an additional 6,000 TEUs of grounded container slots at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, including space for dry and refrigerated containers. The expanded container yard is served by six rubber-tired gantry cranes, for an increased capacity there of 210,000 TEUs annually.
At Garden City Terminal, the GPA added six new ship-to-shore cranes in FY2020 and 20 new rubber-tired gantry cranes for a total of 172. Also at Garden City Terminal, the GPA brought online new container stacks for berths 7, 8 and 9, increasing Savannah’s annual capacity by 400,000 TEUs.
Looking ahead to the future, the GPA has purchased 145 acres adjacent to the Mason Mega Rail Terminal. GPA is developing 92 of those acres for an additional 750,000 annual TEU capacity within the next two years.