Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has launched its Big Berth/Big Ship programme, which will allow the Port of Savannah to simultaneously handle six 14,000 TEU vessels by 2024.
Currently, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is equipped to handle two of these vessels and by April of this year that number will increase to three.
Griff Lynch, executive director at the GPA, said: “No other single container terminal in North America has the ability to expand berth capacity at this rate.”
January 2019 was Savannah’s busiest ever month, with 433,975 teu moved, an increase of 28%.
GPA board chairman Jimmy Allgood, stated: “A strong global economy coupled with a growing awareness of Savannah’s logistical advantages are driving sustained growth at our deep water container terminal.”
Over the next five years, the authority plans to add another 21 neo-Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, replacing 14 of its older models to bring the total fleet to 37.
Dock upgrades are already under way to support the new, larger machines.
A dozen new rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes will bring the number of Garden City Terminal’s container handling cranes to 158.
Ten RTGs will be commissioned in July and another two in September while Phase I of the Mason Mega Rail project will be complete in October 2019.
Full completion a year later will double the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 1m containers per year.
In late 2021, the Savannah Harbour Expansion Project is slated for completion, delivering the deeper water necessary to better accommodate the larger vessels now calling on the US East Coast.
Over the past 24 months, private investors have added 9m sq ft, to bring Savannah’s total industrial real estate market to 60.6m sq ft.
The rate of construction has since accelerated, with another 9.2m sq ft of industrial space now under construction.
Blaine Kelley, senior vice president in the global supply chain practice of industrial real estate firm CBRE, said: “One of Savannah’s strong suits is that within a 30-mile radius from Gate 4 there is still a real deep inventory of industrial sites and parks that have very effective access to and from Garden City Terminal.
“Not surprisingly, it really all starts with the ports infrastructure, the access to global markets, the capacity for long-term growth, and the proximity to the immediate and regional customer base.”