Officials at the Port of Savannah said plans are under way to expand the port’s container capacity by 60%, taking the facility’s annual capacity from 6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) to 9.5 million TEUs by 2025.
Projects now underway will add 1.7 million TEUs of annual capacity in four months, building on projects that have already increased capacity at the port’s Garden City Terminal by 400,000 TEUs. Temporary expansion efforts and workforce development programs are all aimed at expanding trade throughout the region, according to Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.
“Our expansion is being matched by incredible growth in both warehouse space and workforce,” Lynch said during GPA State of the Port address today. “The public and private investment that we’re seeing, as well as the number of people being drawn to the business, make Savannah the hottest market in the country for transportation and logistics.”
Current port projects include GPA’s Peak Capacity project, which will make room for another 820,000 TEUs at the Garden City Terminal by June. In the same month, a new container yard just upriver will add another 500,000 TEUs of capacity. Separately, the Garden City Terminal West project will add up to 1 million TEUs in phases by 2024.
Lynch also pointed to the addition of six pop-up container yards–which add 500,000 TEUs of annual container space–as a supply chain relief valve to deal with rising trade volume. On the workforce front, he said Savannah has registered 80 new truck drivers a week to serve Garden City Terminal, or a total of 1,200 new drivers and 370 new trucking companies since November. Separately, GPA’s workforce development effort, the YES+ program, which hires high school graduates to work in maintenance and container operations, has broadened to include career opportunities for young workers in other departments.
Port expansion is set to continue nationwide. Separately, the Biden Administration said this week it will provide $450 million in grant funding for port-related projects via the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), the grants will help ports expand capacity and improve the movement of goods through the supply chain. The program is part of the administration’s previously announced efforts to address supply chain disruptions, and will be funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year, which will invest $17 billion in ports and waterways.