THE Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has registered its busiest month on record handling 575,513 TEU in August, as it reached the 1 million TEU mark at the Port of Savannah in only two months since the beginning of fiscal year 2023.
The figure represents an increase of 18.5 per cent or 89,918 TEU over the same month last year, the port said in a statement, reports London's Port Technology.
"The Port of Savannah's geographic and capacity advantages remain a driving force behind current and new customers deciding to move cargo through Georgia," said GPA executive director Griff Lynch.
"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 TEU, 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," Mr Lynch added.
Intermodal volumes - including operations at Garden City Terminal and the Appalachian Regional Port - totalled nearly 51,700 rail lifts in August, up by more than 4,000 lifts compared to the same month last year.
"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," said GPA chairman Joel Wooten.
"Combined with a deeper harbour, our improved rail capabilities and expanded container yard space have allowed GPA to maintain fluid cargo management."
According to the port authority, work to realign the berth is now more than 60 per cent 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.
"This is a rare project for a US port," Mr Wooten said. "By this time next year, an additional big ship berth in Savannah will have increased our ability to move containers on and off vessels by 1.4 million TEU per year."
Looking to expand overall capacity, work has begun on the Garden City Terminal West Expansion Phase II.
The project will add 90 acres of container storage space to be supported by 15 electric rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes. The project is expected to add 1 million TEU of annual container handling capacity, coming online in phases in 2023 and 2024.
GPA recently placed an order for 12 Konecranes RTGs for the Port of Savannah. When the cranes are working, the port will operate a fleet of 234 Konecranes RTGs.