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Garden City Terminal

GPA makes major infrastructure investment

Growing container capacity beyond 6M TEUs

The Georgia Ports Authority Board has approved capital improvement projects that will increase the Port of Savannah’s container capacity by 20 percent.

“Right now, we are moving container volumes that we did not expect to see for another four years,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our employees are working very hard to ensure we continue to provide our customers with world-class service. Additionally, we are expediting capacity projects that will increase the speed and fluidity of cargo handling at the Port of Savannah.”

A terminal enhancement dubbed the Peak Capacity project will establish 2,100 new grounded container slots. The project will add 650,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units of annual container yard capacity in two phases, with the first opening in September. A separate project will add 750,000 TEUs of annual capacity by 2023.

“Georgia’s container trade has experienced unprecedented growth over the past six months,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “This addition is among several that will address the needs of port users experiencing a sharp increase in demand, while also preparing Savannah to take on additional business over the long term.”

Since November, the Georgia Ports Authority Board has approved $305 million in projects to increase Savannah’s annual TEU capacity from 5.4 million to 6.8 million.

In addition to the container yard projects, the board approved a Berth 1 renovation that will increase berth capacity by an estimated 1 million TEUs per year by June 2023. This will bring Garden City Terminal’s new total to 6 million TEUs of annual berth capacity.

In other projects aimed at increasing Savannah’s big ship capability, the GPA Board approved in November the purchase of eight new ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will replace six older models, bringing Savannah’s fleet to 38. The eight taller cranes will arrive in 2023, allowing Garden City Terminal to serve more 15,000+ TEU vessels. Savannah’s harbor deepening, a Corps of Engineers project, is more than 80 percent complete, and will reach substantial completion by the end of Calendar Year 2021, providing greater scheduling flexibility for vessel transit.

GPA is also purchasing 20 new rubber-tired gantry cranes. The new RTGs will be tall enough to stand over six containers, one higher than Savannah’s older RTGs, allowing for additional capacity in the same terminal footprint.

Since the upswing in containerized cargo began last fall, GPA has seen significant growth in categories such as machinery, appliances and electronics; hardware and houseware; food; furniture; apparel; and textiles.

Ocean Terminal

Ocean Terminal Retrofitted to Handle Containers

Facility to serve smaller vessels during Garden City Terminal renovations

The Georgia Ports Authority has expanded its container operation at Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, bringing annual capacity there to more than 200,000 TEUs.

“The new capacity at OT will ensure our shipping line customers see no service delays while GPA is straightening Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal,” GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight said. “In light of unprecedented demand, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to grow capacity at our deepwater terminals.”

The updated facility will serve vessels carrying up to 4,800 twenty-foot equivalent container units. Ships this size were previously served at Garden City Terminal’s Berth 1, which is undergoing renovation to straighten a bend, so that it may serve 15,000+ TEU vessels.

At Ocean Terminal, two new mobile harbor cranes have been added for loading and unloading vessels, and the docks have been upgraded to handle container ships. With a lift capacity of 125 tons, the cranes can be configured to handle either containers or breakbulk cargo.

The renovation project delivers improvements to Berth 18, an expanded container yard for dry and refrigerated boxes, six new rubber-tired gantry cranes, and a new truck gate with direct access to U.S. 17.