Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has unveiled a new program that will allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously handle six 14,000 TEU vessels by 2024.
The Big Berth/Big Ship program was presented by GPA’s executive director Griff Lynch at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference held at the Sea Island this week.
“No other single container terminal in North America has the ability to expand berth capacity at this rate,” Lynch said.
Currently, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is equipped to handle two of these vessels and by April of this year that number will increase to three.
As informed, the Port of Savannah had just last week achieved the busiest month ever in its history, moving 433,975 TEUs, a whopping 28 percent jump over the previous year.
“A strong global economy coupled with a growing awareness of Savannah’s logistical advantages are driving sustained growth at our deepwater container terminal,” GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said.
“GPA’s Big Berth/Big Ship program will ensure Georgia stays ahead of demand and ahead of the competition,” he added.
Over the next five years, the authority 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 machines.
In addition to the ship-to-shore cranes GPA is adding, a dozen new rubber-tired gantry cranes will bring the number Garden City Terminal’s container handling cranes to 158. Ten RTGs will be commissioned in July, another two in September. Phase I of the Mason Mega Rail project will be complete in October 2019. Full completion a 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.