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A booming month for ports
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Port of Savannah container volumes jumped 25.8 percent in April, with a total volume of 335,337 20-foot equivalent container units, or an additional 69,000 units. The Georgia Ports Authority also saw strong growth in roll-on/roll-off traffic, moving 77,574 units through Brunswick and Savannah, a 14.1 percent gain.

“Across the logistics industry, focus has centered on GPA’s ability to handle large volume increases with no congestion,” Executive Director Curtis Foltz said. “Georgia has built world-class port facilities, and our customers appreciate service reliability for current and future volumes.”

In his report to the GPA Board, Foltz added that Ocean Terminal, Georgia’s multi-purpose facility in Savannah, nearly doubled its breakbulk cargo in April — expanding at a rate of 96.3 percent (81,691 tons) to reach 166,489 tons of breakbulk goods. GPA’s total breakbulk tonnage grew by 38.7 percent for April (89,946 tons) to reach 322,603 tons.

“Registering double-digit growth in both Savannah and Brunswick illustrates the depth of support our customers have for Georgia Ports,” said GPA Board Vice Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “The numbers show it; when businesses want to reach important markets in a reliable, cost-effective way, Georgia delivers superior supply chain efficiency.”

In order to maintain excellent service levels, the GPA board on Monday approved $141.8 million in capital improvements with passage of its fiscal year 2016 budget. To upgrade assets, the board allocated $33.4 million to improve power infrastructure for cranes, paving, increased rail capacity and other terminal improvements at the ports of Savannah and Brunswick.

Another $83.4 million will go toward property development and the purchase of new equipment. Of that, $33 million will pay for 30 new rubber-tired gantry cranes. The addition of conductor rails to support Savannah’s transition to more efficient electric RTGs will cost $11.5 million and allow 20 more RTGs to run on electricity instead of diesel.