Intermodal cargo up 10.5 percent in Savannah in July 2019
Intermodal cargo continues its powerful rise at the Georgia Ports Authority, achieving 10.5 percent growth in July. Over the past three years, the Port of Savannah has grown its rail volume by 35.4 percent, completing more than 507,000 intermodal lifts in the fiscal year that ended in June, the company said in its release.
The Port of Savannah handled 47,255 rail lifts last month, an increase of 4,511 containers compared to 2018, which held the previous record for July.
The growth comes as the first sections of new rail track have become operational on the Mason Mega Rail terminal, now 40 percent complete. Phase 1 of the $218 million project will open by year’s end. When Phase II opens in 2020, the project will have doubled the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year.
Additionally, the Mega Rail Terminal will improve vehicle traffic flow in neighboring communities by moving all rail switching on terminal.
Savannah’s intermodal success helped drive the port to its busiest July ever for overall container trade, with 387,024 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 8,257 TEUs or 2.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
Lynch noted recent successes such as Gov. Brian Kemp’s April announcement that Plastic Express will export plastic resins via Savannah. With shipments starting in October, the California-based company will immediately become one of Savanah’s largest export customers.
Lynch and McKnight also credited the container port’s success to GPA’s continual investment in increasing cargo capacity. The Authority commissioned four new Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes in 2018, bringing its Garden City fleet to 30 – the most of any single terminal in North America. Another six cranes will arrive next year, allowing GPA to move up to 1,200 containers per hour across a single dock.
Over the summer, Garden City Terminal received 10 new Rubber-Tired Gantry cranes. Two more are set to arrive in October, bringing the RTG fleet to 158.