February 2019 | News | Global Logistics

GPA's Triple Crown

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Containers and ship-to-shore cranes work vessels at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal. (Photo: Stephen B. Morton)

The Georgia Ports Authority’s Big Berth/Big Ship program will allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously handle six 14,000 TEU vessels by 2024.

The Georgia Ports Authority's (GPA) new Big Berth/Big Ship program will allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously handle six 14,000-TEU vessels by 2024.

"No other single container terminal in North America has the ability to expand berth capacity at this rate," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference, where he unveiled the program. Currently, Savannah's Garden City Terminal is equipped to handle two of these vessels and by April 2019 that number will increase to three.

Over the next five years, the GPA plans to add another 21 Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, replacing 14 of its older models to bring the total fleet to 37. Dock upgrades are already underway to support the new, larger cranes.

The Savannah market is also seeing significant private development. Over the past two years, private investors have added 9 million square feet of available space, bringing Savannah's total industrial real estate market to 60.6 million square feet. The rate of construction has since accelerated, with another 9.2 million square feet of industrial space currently under construction.

In addition to the ship-to-shore cranes, GPA is adding one dozen new rubber-tired gantry cranes, which will bring the number of Garden City Terminal's container handling cranes to 158. Phase I of the Mason Mega Rail project will be complete in October 2019. Full completion one year later will double the Port of Savannah's rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year.

In late 2021, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is slated for completion, delivering the deeper water necessary to better accommodate the larger vessels now calling on the U.S. East Coast.

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