This week the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) welcomes four new STS cranes with a 22-row outreach to its Garden City Terminal, lifting its compliment of Super post Panamax units to 26, more than any other terminal the US, the GPA claims.
The GPA continues to benefit from operating a single, common user container terminal, which insulates its business to a large degree from the rapidly changing carrier landscape. "For customers, it means the capacity to move up to a thousand containers per hour across a single dock at America's largest terminal - allowing us to work more vessels, more quickly," said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. "It means getting cargo to market and getting ships back out to sea with unmatched efficiency."
"We're growing our crane fleet in order to stay ahead of demand," said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy. "Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in June, Garden City Terminal has seen a 40% increase in the number of vessels carrying 8,000 or more twenty-foot equivalent container units. Over the same period, the Port of Savannah has seen a 21% increase in the number of TEUs handled per vessel."
With the new cranes, Savannah now features 20 “New Panamax” cranes and six post-panamax cranes (reaching 17 containers across). Another four New Panamax cranes (also from Konecranes) are due to arrive in 2018, bringing Savannah's total to 30. The cranes operate over a dock with nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous berth space.
So far this year container throughput at Savannah has fallen 4.5%, due to a steep drop in empty container moves. The port expects, however, to see container loadings increase significantly when the Savannah Harbour Expansion Project, which will increase the depth of the Savannah River from 42 to 47 feet, is completed.
"Garden City Terminal completes 100,000 container transactions every week," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "Keeping all those transactions moving smoothly requires the authority to maintain capacity at least 20% above demand. Our new cranes help to ensure the terminal remains congestion-free and efficient for customers."