Even as spot rates tumble, there seems to be no let-up in demand from American consumers. After record volumes were reported by the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach on the West Coast, the story is repeating on the East Coast as shippers ordered more and shifted location to the East Coast ports.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled 575,513 TEUs in August, its busiest month ever and an increase of 18.5 percent, or 89,918 TEUs, over the same month last year.

"The Port of Savannah's geographic and capacity advantages remain a driving force behind current and new customers deciding to move cargo through Georgia," says Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority. "Our central location, and service through the largest container terminal in the Western Hemisphere offers speed to market and unmatched room to grow."

Counting the July volume of 530,800 TEUs, the Port of Savannah's August performance made for the fastest period in which the port has cleared the 1 million-TEU mark in a fiscal year.

"Our expanding container trade drives economic development, delivering jobs and opportunities locally and across the state," Lynch added.

GPA Chairman Joel Wooten adds: "The investments we have made in our operating infrastructure have been paying off in our ability to handle the sustained influx of business that began two years ago. Combined with a deeper harbour, our improved rail capabilities and expanded container yard space have allowed GPA to maintain fluid cargo management."

While the Port of Savannah continues to work through a vessel backlog, Lynch noted imports on the water are trending downward compared to July when there were 265,000 containers destined for Savannah. "Today, that number is 223,460 boxes on the water."

Lynch said the number of vessels at anchor will dwindle over the next six weeks, and a more permanent solution will come online in June 2023 when improvements to Container Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal are completed.

Work to realign the berth is now more than 60 percent complete. The improvement will provide space for another big ship berth, allowing the Port of Savannah to simultaneously serve four 16,000-TEU vessels as well as three additional ships.

Read Full Article