East Coast Ports See Rising Cargo Volumes
October 1, 2020
the Georgia Ports Authority handled all-time record volumes in the month of
August, Griff Lynch, executive director for the GPA, reported to the Board of
Directors today that the Port of Savannah is on track to achieve a monthly
record for September, expecting to move more than 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent
container units this month.
“We frankly didn’t anticipate growth for the months of August and September, but
we are gratified by the loyalty of our customers and the dedication of our
employees,” said Lynch. “Although there is still much work to be done,
Savannah’s status as the Number 1 export port means it will play a critical role
in the nation’s economic recovery.”
Based on cargo bookings, GPA is projecting more than 5 percent growth compared
to September 2019. The Appalachian Regional Port (ARP), GPA’s inland terminal in
northwest Georgia, Murray County, also reported record volumes in August and
projects similar results for September.
“The ARP and our Mason Mega Rail project are both examples of GPA’s proactive
approach to planning, development and completion of projects well ahead of
demand,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Clearly, our ability to handle
additional volumes related to exponential increases in e-commerce and a renewed
demand for American-made export products is helping to produce these positive
The ARP nearly doubled its cargo for the month of August to 6,156 TEUs and is
anticipating similar growth in September. During the board meeting Monday, the
Authority approved adding six new container storage bays, totaling 230 TEU slots
to handle additional demand at the inland terminal. The added bays will increase
annual capacity by 15,000 TEUs and be complete by the end of the year.
The ARP provides an alternative to an all-truck dray to and from the Port of
Savannah for target markets in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Each
roundtrip container offsets 710 truck miles on Georgia highways. The ARP also
offers an efficient solution to challenges related to hours of service for truck
drivers. GE Appliances recently opened its $32 million Southern Logistics Center
in Murray County, just two miles from the inland terminal. Additionally, Huali
Floors, a manufacturer of resilient flooring, has announced plans to establish
its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County.
“I want to thank Governor Kemp and the team at the Georgia Department of
Economic Development for
the recent announcements of new jobs and private investments in and around
Murray County that are helping to drive business through the ARP,” said Lynch.
“This team approach to economic development is the reason industry publications
have consistently ranked Georgia as the Number 1 state to do business in this
Other ongoing projects to increase capacity at GPA include the Savannah Harbor
Expansion Project, now 75 percent complete and the Mason Mega Rail Terminal
which is close to 50 percent complete. Recently, GPA reconfigured a portion of
the Garden City Terminal container yard to add more than 11,000 TEUs of
container storage; and purchased an adjacent parcel to grow Garden City Terminal
to 1,345 acres.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000
jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106
billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s
economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo
volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.
In August, cargo moved through the Port of New York and New Jersey at record
levels, setting an all-time monthly high for TEU volume. Total volume for August
reached 688,365 TEUs (383,397 lifts), a 1.3 percent increase over August 2019,
which posted 679,585 TEUs (385,288 lifts). This increase brings our year through
August total to 4,661,453 TEUs (2,632,583 lifts).
Imports rose by 7.1 percent in August, totaling 368,868 TEUs (205,002 lifts)
compared to 344,473 TEUs (193,932 lifts) in August 2019. From January through
August 2020, imports at the Port of New York and New Jersey reached 2,416,690
TEUs (1,357,173 lifts) versus 2,536,972 TEUs (1,435,348 lifts) in the same
period of 2019, a 4.7 percent decrease.
Exports in August totaled 319,497 TEUs (178,311 lifts) compared to 335,112 TEUs
(190,737 lifts) in August 2019, a 4.7 percent decrease in TEU volume. From
January through August 2020, exports reached 2,244,763 TEUs (1,266,496 lifts)
versus 2,458,448 TEUs (1,398,128 lifts) in the same period of 2019, an 8.7
Rail volume increased 7.8 percent from the previous year’s August figure,
totaling 64,892 containers for August 2020. Rail volume for January through
August 2020 is 1.4 percent greater than in the same period of 2019.
Autos moved through the Port of New York and New Jersey totaled 37,888 in
August, a decrease of 28.2 percent compared to August 2019.