The volume of containers moving through the port of Savannah dropped by 4.2 percent in April from the same month last year and by the same amount from March of this year.
Container throughout in April totaled 248,886 20-foot-equivalent units, down from 260,063 TEUs a year earlier and from 259,796 TEUs in March of this year.
Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz attributed the declines to “a very fragile U.S. economic recovery and ongoing consumer uncertainty for the balance of 2012.”
By contrast roll-on, roll-off volume at the GPA’s Port of Brunswick hit a record with 59,974 units, up 57.7 percent year-over-year. Foltz said the strong volume as due to “the growing export market for vehicles and heavy equipment produced in Georgia and around the Southeast.”
Across all terminals, the two ports handled 2.3 million tons in April, the fourth highest volume on record, and less than 75,000 tons lower than the all-time high set in March.
In anticipation of increased heavy machinery exports, the GPA board in March approved $2.8 million in structural upgrades at Colonel’s Island in Brunswick for roads, bridges, staging areas and rail loading and offloading areas.
The board also approved a resolution in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' recommendation to deepen the Savannah Harbor to 47 feet to accommodate post-Panamax container vessels.
The board also approved a resolution requesting the issuance of $60 million in general obligation bonds to cover mitigation engineering, design and construction costs associated with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The state has approved the issuance of up to $181 million in such bonds to fund SHEP.