The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reports that the Port of Savannah exported more loaded containers than any other port in the U.S. from January through May, achieving a 12.2% market share.
Garden City Terminal handled a total of 593,195 twenty-foot equivalent container units of loaded exports during the first five months of the calendar year.
Savannah offers 37 weekly container ship services reaching destinations around the world, on-terminal service from Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX, and direct access to Interstates 95 and 16.
“With the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the transition of larger vessels to East Coast services, cargo owners are making the strategic decision to keep imports on the water longer,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Subsequently, export customers enjoy greater empty container availability in Savannah, lower container slot costs on Neo-Panamax vessels, and unmatched cargo fluidity through road, rail and terminal services.”
Among Savannah’s top export commodities, the biggest gainers for the period were raw cotton, which grew by 61.0% (16,377 TEU) for a total of 43,234 TEU, woodpulp, up by 15.8% (11,539 TEU) for a total of 84,595 TEUs, and kaolin clay, up 23.7% (7,964 TEU) for a total of 41,527 TEUs.
Georgia’s deepwater ports are still dealing with the impact of COVID-19, but have seen steadier trade numbers than other U.S. ports. In July, the Port of Savannah handled 360,700 TEU, down 6.8 percent or 26,325 TEU, compared to the same month last year. Total tonnage for the month dipped 3.1 percent, or 101,870 tons, for a total of 3.16 million tons for the first month of Fiscal Year 2021.
“Georgia’s diverse industry, its position as a major agricultural producer and its central location within the U.S. Southeast have helped to mitigate the worst impacts of the pandemic on trade through our terminals,” Lynch said. “Along with our partners in the International Longshoremen’s Association, motor carriers, railroads, stevedores and the distribution centers, we have been proud to provide steady, reliable service to our customers without delays or interruptions.”