The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) on Monday announced an ambitious vision for the next decade that would see the ports of Savannah and Brunswick expand to accommodate 10 million teu containers, one million rail lifts and more than 1.5 million machinery units per year.
At the moment it handles 4 million teu annually.
GPA, which embraces the ports of Savannah (with its Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal) and Brunswick (with its Colonel’s Island Terminal and Mayor’s Point Terminal), is already the fourth-largest container port in the US. And it is the fastest growing one, with annual average of 6% growth over the past 10 years.
Now, looking ahead 10 years to 2028, GPA executive director Griff Lynch told the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference at Sea Island that the plan is for a $2.3 billion expansion of its capacity, which includes investing in 42 ship-to-shore cranes, construction of a $128 million mega rail project in the Garden City Terminal, and the opening of a second inland terminal in northwest Georgia.
The program’s three-pronged approach emphasizes increased space, expanded infrastructure and improved connectivity.
GPA’s ongoing growth has been helped by the supportive governor of the state, Nathan Deal, and state legislators, in recognition of how the port is a major driver of economic and employment growth in the state and the southeast region.
Another project indicative of the GPA’s ambition – the deepening of Savannah harbour from 42 feet to 47 feet – is at the midway point and is expected to be complete by 2021 with the deepening of the inner harbor. That would allow the megaships that already call at Savannah to take on more cargo and to enjoy more scheduling flexibility when calling there.