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Georgia Ports riding a wave of increased trade
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Georgia Ports Authority’s Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced Monday at its board meeting that the GPA continued to experience positive growth during February and has recorded three consecutive months of increased trade through its ports.

“Three consecutive months of double-digit growth at the Georgia Ports Authority is a positive sign that overall market conditions have improved considerably since last year,” Foltz said. “Superior services, logistics and facilities allow the GPA to grow its market and further establish Georgia’s ports as a strategic gateway in the South Atlantic.”

Overall tonnage for February 2010 reported gains of 29.7 percent, which brings the GPA’s year-to-date volume for the first eight months to a 2.7-percent increase compared with the same time period last year. Container volume showed strong growth, posting a 20.6-percent increase in 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs compared with the same period last year for a total of 202,620 TEUs in February 2010.

“To post three consecutive months of very strong growth in difficult economic conditions is a tribute to the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women of the GPA,” said GPA’s Chairman of the Board Stephen S. Green.

In other news:
•Compared with similar months in previous years, GPA reported 35.8-percent growth in total tonnage in December 2009, 32.2-growth in January 2010, and 29.7-percent growth in February 2010.
•The movement of auto and machinery units on Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick also experienced an increase for the past three months as compared with similar months in previous years with increases of 46.7 percent in December 2009, 2.7 percent in January 2010 and 15.7 percent in February 2010.
•In Brunswick, agri-bulk commodities posted record volumes for the fourth straight month with 207,502 tons moved in February 2010, which was a 248-percent increase compared with February 2009. In fact, agri-bulk volume at Colonel’s Island Terminal has increased by 100.8 percent for the fiscal year-to-date.
•The movement of auto and machinery units on Colonel’s Island in Brunswick also experienced an increase of 15.7 percent in the month of February with a fiscal year-to-date decrease of 6.8 percent.
•Volkswagen recently renewed its commitment to the Port of Brunswick by signing a new five-year contract with International Auto Processing effective May 1.
•Maintenance dredging in Brunswick was completed, which brought the Port of Brunswick’s entrance channel back to its authorized depth and width.

The entrance channel is authorized at a 38 foot depth and 500 foot width. The inner harbor is authorized at a depth of 36 feet and width of 400 feet. A combination of FY2009 stimulus funds through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act or ARRA were used with FY2010 operations and maintenance funds, which were required for the $10-million project.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $14.9 billion in income, $55.8 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.