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Rail News: Intermodal

Savannah port moved record number of TEUs in FY2019

The Mason Mega Rail project, which will double Savannah's rail capacity, is 40 percent complete.
Photo – Port of Savannah


Georgia's Port of Savannah moved a record 4.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 7.3 percent increase compared with the same period a year ago.

And for the first time, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled more than half a million container lifts by rail, growing that number by 16.6 percent in the just-completed fiscal year versus a year ago. The 506,707 intermodal boxes constituted more than 20 percent of total containers, another record, GPA officials said in a press release.

"The authority's investment in the Mason Mega Rail project is coming just in time for our capacity to stay ahead of demand, ensuring the free flow of intermodal cargo," said GPA Chairman Will McKnight. "The first phase of the project will be complete this year, cutting rail transit time to Midwestern markets by 24 hours."

The Mason Mega Rail project, which will double Savannah's rail capacity, is 40 percent complete. By 2021, the new facility will be able to handle 1 million containers per year, GPA officials said.

GPA, with its Class I providers CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway, is moving more freight faster and more efficiently than ever, said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

"Rail cargo is expanding at twice the rate of our overall container trade, reducing congestion on our highways and increasing Georgia's reach to a mid-American arc of cities, including Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio," Lynch said.

Meanwhile, at its July 29 meeting, the GPA's board approved the following increases to accommodate growth:
• At the Garden City Terminal, a $12.4 million project to construct four new container rows to increase annual capacity by 400,000 TEUs; and
• At the Colonel's Island Terminal, a $1.7 million project to add four acres to the 662-acre facility that will add 600 processing spaces for new and expanding business.

At 1,200 acres, the port's Garden City Terminal is the largest single-operator terminal in the United States.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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