Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced Monday that the GPA handled more than 2.9 million TEUs (20-foot Equivalent Unit containers) at the Port of Savannah, more than 465,000 automobiles and machinery units at the Port of Brunswick and nearly 2.2 million breakbulk tons for all terminals in fiscal year 2011 (July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011).
“The Georgia Ports Authority’s double-digit growth is significant for our state in a recovering economy because it creates additional jobs,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Our strong logistics and transportation network in Georgia — on land, sea, rail and by air — is key to job development in the Southeast and enables our state to stand out for its ability to move people and goods efficiently.”
In FY2011, the GPA handled 2,927,338 TEUs, which is an 11 percent increase or an additional 289,595 TEUs compared with the previous year. Automobiles and machinery units at the Port of Brunswick yielded a 40.1-percent increase for FY2011 with a total of 465,342 units. Breakbulk tonnage for all terminals totaled 2,195,047, which is a 37.5-percent increase compared with FY2010 or an additional 598,423 tons.
“Heavy volumes throughout the year have been driven by continued market share gains by our ports, modest domestic U.S. recovery and strong global rebound in the BRIC developing nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China),” said Foltz. “We achieved increases in volume and maintained market share in our trade lanes thanks to the hardworking men and women of the GPA and the entire maritime community that made this remarkable year of growth a reality. Our strategic location, logistical advantages including recent capacity expansion continue to make Savannah the Southeastern gateway to world markets.”
Export commodities grew by 12 percent, compared to nine-percent growth in imports. Overall, export throughput comprised 53 percent of the GPA’s total containerized cargo. The fastest growing export trade lanes were Southern Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
“Georgia’s strong position as a regional hub for export commodities is highlighted in the strong performance of the past fiscal year,” said GPA Chairman of the Board Alec L. Poitevint. “In addition, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) passed important milestones this past year, and we are confident this nationally significant infrastructure project will gain necessary approvals and proceed according to the proposed schedule.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the SHEP Draft General Re-evaluation Report (GRR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in November 2010. The project’s final public review and comment period is scheduled for fall.
The study, authorized by Congress in 1996, reflects an extensive analysis of the engineering alternatives, environmental impacts, and economic costs and benefits of deepening the Savannah Harbor and shipping channel.