The new facility is located less than 10 miles (16 kms) from the port and the cold storage area is maintained at -12F (-24C) while the blast cells reach as low as -35F (-37C). Most of the cargo will be moved on racks, however the facility also features a bulk staging area for transload operations. Gulf States already has plans for a dock extension and the addition of 85,000 sq ft (7,804 sq m) of frozen storage.
The blast freezing site will serve only export customers for now, but the company is talking with potential customers to add imported vegetables, fruit and seafood to its commodity portfolio.
Supplied largely by Georgia farms, the Port of Savannah handles nearly 40% of the nation’s containerised poultry exports. Since 2006, refrigerated exports through the Port of Savannah have increased 130%. Last year alone, the GPA saw a 3.9% increase in refrigerated cargo exports, totalling nearly 108,000 teu.
According to the GPA, demand for refrigerated warehousing outstrips existing facilities and the ongoing work to expand on-terminal capacity for refrigerated cargo, along with private developments like Gulf States, will strengthen Georgia’s position in the marketplace.
GPA’s Garden City Terminal currently has 85 refrigerated cargo racks, accommodating more than 2,000 containers at a time. More than 80 cold storage facilities around the state rely on the Port of Savannah, with a combined storage capacity greater than 16m (1.49m sq m).