Container, auto and breakbulk volumes at Georgia’s two deep-water ports surged at double-digit rates in the 12 months of the fiscal year ended June 30, the Georgia Ports Authority reported Monday.
The Port of Savannah handled 2,927,338 20-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2011, an increase of 11 percent from the 2,637,743 TEUS it handled in the previous year.
By The Numbers: Containerized Ocean Trade - Georgia & South Carolina Ports
Automobile and machinery units at the Port of Brunswick increased by 40.1 percent to 465,342 units in the fiscal year. Breakbulk tonnage for all terminals totaled 2,195,047, which is a 37.5 percent increase compared with the prior fiscal year.
“Heavy volumes throughout the year have been driven by continued market share gains by our ports, modest domestic U.S. recovery and strong global rebound in the BRIC developing nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China),” said GPA Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz.
Export commodities grew by 12 percent, compared to the 9 percent growth in imports. Overall, export throughput comprised 53 percent of the GPA’s total containerized cargo. The fastest growing export trade lanes were Southern Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
The GPA is moving ahead with plans to deepen the Savannah River channel and the port’s harbor to 48 feet from the current 42 feet, but is encountering opposition from some environmental groups and politicians in neighboring South Carolina.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the Savannah Harbor Expansion Plan Draft General Re-evaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement last November. The study, authorized by Congress in 1996, reflects an extensive analysis of the engineering alternatives, environmental impacts, and economic costs and benefits of deepening the Savannah Harbor and shipping channel.
The project’s final public review and comment period is scheduled for the fall of this year.