The Georgia Ports Authority Board has approved more than $34 million to help expedite an additional 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in capacity that will begin coming online in December.
“In three months, this investment will begin to deliver the additional capacity we need to better accommodate increased volumes and demand for our services,” said Griff Lynch, executive director for the GPA. “I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their confidence in our ability to grow our existing terminals; our customers for sticking with us and, in many cases, increasing their commitment to Georgia’s ports; and to the men and women working throughout the supply chain, and especially GPA’s employees, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication during unprecedented times in our industry.”
Part of the approved expenditures included the purchase of 22.2 acres adjacent to GPA’s 145-acre West Expansion property. The board also provided funds to begin developing another 18 acres of land adjacent to GPA’s 60-acre Peak Capacity project, currently under construction. In total, the developments will add 230 acres of container handling space, coming online in phases with full completion in 2023.
“The GPA’s expansion strategy will not only maintain Savannah’s position as the hub port of the U.S. Southeast, but strengthen its ability to drive economic growth and private investment for communities across Georgia,” said Joel Wooten, GPA’s chairman of the board. “In light of unprecedented demand, it is incumbent on the Board to maintain our ports to promote job growth for the state.”
The Port of Savannah handled 485,595 TEU in August, an increase of 10%, or 44,000 TEU over the same month last year, which was the previous high for August. It was the second busiest month in GPA history, after only March 2021, when Garden City Terminal handled 498,000 TEU.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 9.3 percent of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5% of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2020.