Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported strong growth for February, with an increase of 6.9 percent — or 147,650 tons — in total cargo compared to the same month last year, moving 2.27 million tons of freight in February.
Foltz also detailed growth in auto/machinery units moved through Colonel’s Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick. With a 30.4 percent improvement over February last year, Brunswick added 11,799 vehicles to reach 50,622 units. For the fiscal year, the GPA has moved 415,730 units, up 21 percent over FY2012.
“Increased roll-on/roll-off cargo among the 21 car manufacturers we serve indicates an improving market for auto sales,” Foltz said. “Our exports of Ford, GM and Toyota, as well as luxury brands Mercedes and BMW, support car making jobs across the southern U.S.”
Brunswick also handled more bulk cargo, which reached 124,028 tons in February, an increase of 91,568 tons, or 282 percent over February 2012. For FY2013, bulk tonnage in Brunswick has surpassed 800,500 tons, for a year-over-year growth rate of 550 percent.
The Port of Savannah saw a growth of 45,007 tons, or 2.3 percent, over February 2012 to surpass 2 million tons of cargo moved in February alone. Twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) also grew by 2.3 percent. Year-over-year, Savannah added more than 5,000 TEUs in February, for a total of 242,425. February performance was up 4.9 percent compared with January 2013.
“In the fourth quarter, we expect to see further growth in container traffic, both in the wake of successful labor contract negotiations, and as the nation’s economic recovery continues,” said Foltz.
Export loaded volumes remain dominant through Georgia’s ports, representing 56 percent of loaded traffic.
“Business expansion at Georgia’s deepwater ports translates into jobs and prosperity across the logistics sector, as well as having a positive impact on support industries and the broader economy,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah was the second-busiest U.S. container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2011.