The nation’s ports continue to rebound from a spring slowdown, as officials from the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) and the Port of New York and New Jersey posted strong cargo volume reports this week.
In Georgia, officials said the ports are on track for a record-setting September following a strong August, when cargo volume through GPA hit an all-time high. GPA is projecting 5% volume growth this month, with the Port of Savannah expected to move 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and the inland Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) projecting a similar performance to August, when volumes nearly doubled.
GPA officials said the growth is unexpected, but they credited the port’s planning and development efforts as keys to supporting it. The port is undergoing expansion projects at both ARP and the Port of Savannah, including enhancements to the Mason Mega Rail terminal in Savannah.
“The ARP and our Mason Mega Rail project are both examples of GPA’s proactive approach to planning, development, and completion of projects well ahead of demand,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Clearly, our ability to handle additional volumes related to exponential increases in e-commerce and a renewed demand for American-made export products is helping to produce these positive numbers.”
This week, GPA approved adding six new container storage bays at ARP, totaling 230 TEU slots to handle additional demand at the inland terminal. The added bays will increase annual capacity by 15,000 TEUs and is slated to be complete by the end of the year, officials said. GPA’s ongoing Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is 75% complete and its Mason Mega Rail Terminal project, which includes the addition of 18 working tracks and rail-mounted gantry cranes, is 50% complete.
Separately, officials at the Port of New York and New Jersey reported record-setting volume for August on Wednesday. Total monthly volume reached 688,365 TEUs, a 1.3% increase over the same period a year ago. Imports rose 7% during the month and exports fell nearly 5%. Year-to-date, imports were down nearly 5% and exports were down nearly 9%. Rail volume increased across the board, however, rising nearly 9% compared to the year-ago period and rising 1.4% year-to-date, officials said.