The Georgia Ports Authority is off to a strong start in the new fiscal year.

The ports of Savannah and Brunswick handled 447,590 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in July, the first month of fiscal 2024. That represents a 17% increase over June but was 16% below July of last year, when the ports set a record for the month.

The July numbers were boosted by the reopening of Container Berth 1 at Savannah’s Garden City Terminal.

“The expanded berth and four of the largest ship-to-shore cranes in North America came online last month, providing faster vessel service and an increase of 1.5 million TEUs in annual berth capacity,” said Ed McCarthy, the ports authority’s chief operating officer. “The Port of Savannah can now serve five big ships simultaneously and has eliminated its vessel backlog.”

The authority has ordered eight new ship-to-shore cranes for the Garden City Terminal. The first four began operating last month, with the next four due to go into service by December.

The various improvements will increase the Port of Savannah’s container capacity by about 3.5 million TEUs per year, bringing the total capacity to 10 million TEUs annually by 2026.

Meanwhile, the Georgia ports handled nearly 71,000 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in July, up 23% over the same month last year. That made July one of the top-five months ever for Ro/Ro.

“The strong showing in finished vehicles last fiscal year has continued into the first month of FY2024,” ports authority President and CEO Griff Lynch said. “The primary driver is increased production supported by better microchip availability.”

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service

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