Georgia Ports Authority Names New Chairman

GPAImage Courtesy: GPA/Stephen B. Morton

The US Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) elected William D. McKnight as chairman on May 20, 2019.

McKnight, who has served as vice chairman since 2018, will assume his new responsibilities on July 1.

“As an entrepreneur and business leader with more than 30 years in the construction industry, Will McKnight has the experience necessary to keep GPA at the forefront, delivering opportunity for growth to large and small businesses across the state,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said.

“I’m excited to help lead the GPA at a time when Gov. Kemp has made the success of small business a major priority,” McKnight commented.

Along with McKnight, the board elected Patrick “Kelly” Farr Jr. as vice chairman, while Joel Wooten will remain in his role as secretary-treasurer.

McKnight will replace outgoing Chairman Jimmy Allgood who led GPA over the past three years. Under Allgood’s leadership, annual container volumes grew from 3.6 million TEUs to an estimated 4.5 million TEUs, a 25 percent increase.

“During Jimmy’s tenure, we’ve seen the completion of the outer harbor deepening, we’ve purchased 10 ship-to-shore cranes, kicked off construction of the largest on-terminal rail facility in the country, and expanded our auto capacity,” McKnight said.

“Now, we have to continue that momentum to bring the efficiencies of Georgia’s deepwater terminals to even more customers.”

In other business, GPA executive director Griff Lynch reported that the Port of Savannah had its busiest April ever, pushing its fiscal year-to-date totals to 3.7 million TEUs, an increase of 8.7 percent compared to the same period in FY2018.

“We’re nearly a full month ahead of last year’s volume at this point,” Lynch noted.

Total container cargo in April reached record volumes of 364,481 TEUs at the Port of Savannah, a rise of 1.9 percent or 6,700 TEUs.


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