WASHINGTON: Port of Savannah Garden City Terminal on the US East Coast has plans to amp up crane capacity to service 14,000 TEU vessels. Georgia Port Authority’s (GPA) board on July 24, 2017 gave the green light for the order of six more Neopanamax ship-to-shore cranes, following on the heels of a four-crane order. It reported record fiscal year results ahead of the decision to boost crane capacity by 40%. GPA’s six-crane order will be delivered to the port by 2020, and the additional four cranes on order will be operating by June, 2018. Following the 10-crane upgrade, the GPA expects a productivity rate of 1,300 moves per hour (MPH) on a single dock, which it says is the highest of all terminals in North America. GPA in June, 2017 moved 337,710 TEUs, hitting a record 17% increase in container volumes. On the US East Coast, the GPA operates the deepwater container port of Savannah and the deepwater Ro-Ro port of Brunswick, together with inland barge projects in Bainbridge and Columbus. In fiscal 2017 GPA moved 33.4 million tons of cargo across all terminals, another all-time high and an 8.3% increase over the fiscal year for 2016.
Savannah Port handled 1.99 million TEUs, for a growth rate of 11.6% over the same period in FY2016. Cargo growth was made possible by the partnership GPA has established with a North American and Puerto Rican labour group, International Longshoremen’s Association, said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said: “Our volume growth continues to outpace forecasted demand. Shipping lines are moving 13,000- and 14,000-TEU vessels into service on the East Coast more quickly than anticipated, and concentrating their deliveries at efficient gateway ports like Savannah. “This new crane purchase, along with the four already on order, will enable GPA to increase crane capacity by nearly 40%.”