Savannah ups its vessel capacity

Garden City Terminal Garden City Terminal is expanding its berth capacity. Credit: Georgia Ports Authority
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Georgia Ports Authority’s Big Berth/Big Ship programme will enable the Port of Savannah to simultaneously handle six 14,000 TEU vessels by 2024.

The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is currently equipped to handle two of these vessels and by April of this year that number will increase to three. By 2024, the terminal will also feature 37 cranes to improve operational efficiency.

“No other single container terminal in North America has the ability to expand berth capacity at this rate,” said Georgia Ports Authority executive director Griff Lynch.

January marked the busiest month in the port’s history, as Mr Lynch revealed it moved 433,975 teus, a 28% jump over the previous year.

More investments ahead

Over the next five years, the authority plans to add another 21 Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, replacing 14 of its older models to bring the total fleet to 37. Dock upgrades are already under way to support the new, larger machines.

In addition to the STS cranes GPA is adding, a dozen new rubber-tired gantry cranes will bring the number Garden City Terminal's container handling cranes to 158. 10 RTGs will be commissioned in July, another two in September.

Phase one of the Mason Mega Rail project will be complete in October 2019. Full completion a year later will double the Port of Savannah's rail lift capacity to 1m containers per year.

In late 2021, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is due for completion, delivering the deeper water necessary to better accommodate the larger vessels now calling on the US East Coast.

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