Georgia Ports sets RoRo cargo record

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GPA said the record RoRo figures stem from organic growth and Baltimore diversions, following the collapse of the Francis Scott Bridge.

The Georgia Ports Authority handled a record 80,600 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in April, an increase of more than 44% year-on-year in what has been described as the ‘busiest month ever for autos and heavy equipment’.

GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch said several factors are leading to growth at the Port of Brunswick.

“Asian imports remain strong, but we are also seeing an uptick in vehicle exports, new customers have chosen Georgia Ports, and we have increased capacity for existing customers,” Lynch said at the GPA board meeting.

“Additionally, manufacturers are working to raise dealership stocks from the current 14-day inventories to 30 days’ worth of vehicles.”

In addition to organic growth, diversions from the Port of Baltimore due to the suspension of port operations following the collapse of the Franci Scott Key Bridge increased volumes at Colonel’s Island Terminal.

“Approximately 9,000 import vehicles were diverted to Brunswick, as well as another 1,000 units of high/heavy equipment. Heavy machinery exports were up by 500 units compared to GPA’s monthly average of 246 units for fiscal year 2024.

“We are expecting the impact of diverted cargo to taper off in June, as the Port of Baltimore works to fully restore service,” Lynch added.

For the first three quarters of FY2024 (July 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024), GPA averaged 69,880 units per month in total Ro/Ro.

April Container Volumes

In container trade, the Port of Savannah moved 441,000 TEU in April, an increase of 8% year-on-year. It was GPA’s third busiest April on record after 2021 and 2022.

“The unmatched efficiency at the ports of Brunswick and Savannah is one reason Georgia has been chosen as the best state to do business for ten years in a row,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain.

Import loads reached 211,900 TEU, up 8.3% or 16,200 TEU compared to April 2023. Export loads accounted for 122,500 TEU last month, an increase of 4,235 TEU year-on-year.

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