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The Port of Savannah moved a record amount of containers last year, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced yesterday.
The port handled 4.35 million 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in 2018, up 7.5 percent compared with 2017 volume. In December alone, the port logged 351,366 TEUs, an increase of 8.7 percent. It was the authority's busiest December ever, GPA officials said in a press release.
As part of its record 2018, the port handled its most ever containers by rail — 478,669, or about 860,000 TEUs — via Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX, they said. The container volume represented a 19 percent year-over-year increase.
"The reason Georgia's ports remain the fastest growing in the nation is because we are quickly adding capacity to our operations," said GPA Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "The leadership model our ports and elected officials have put into place is forward thinking and works hard for the next wave of growth."
To handle additional intermodal volume, GPA will complete the first phase of the Mason Mega Rail project in October, and the second phase by October 2020. When completed, the project will double rail capacity at Garden City Terminal from 500,000 to 1 million containers per year, authority officials said.
At GPA's Colonel's Island — the single largest autoport in North America, according to the GPA — expansion projects are underway that will double rail capacity and significantly increase near-dock storage. The authority plans to develop another 400 acres to bring annual throughput capacity to 1.5 million vehicles in future years, they said.
The ports took several strides toward infrastructure development last year. Among them: In February 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed outer harbor dredging at the Savannah port, marking the midpoint of the Savannah Harbor expansion project.