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Steady first quarter growth for Georgia Ports

POSTED: November 4, 2011 12:44 p.m.

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced today the ports saw a growth rate of 5.0 percent in the first quarter of  FY2012, moving 6.5 million tons of freight. Over the same period in FY2011, the port moved 6.2 million tons of cargo.

Measured in 20-foot equivalent units, the GPA’s container volumes saw growth of 3.7 percent. During the July through September period, the ports moved 770,190 TEUs, compared with 742,593 last year. The positive quarterly container results were aided by an early peak shipment of holiday goods, which occurred during September, delivering 11.1 percent TEU growth for the month.

“We are developing new opportunities for growth during these challenging economic times,” Foltz said. “Although our ports are growing market share and volume, we will continue to closely monitor broader economic conditions in the coming months.”

Breakbulk activity in Brunswick and Savannah continues to lead port growth, reporting 16.3 percent quarterly and 31.8 percent September increases. Heavy automobile and machinery throughput is leading the volume surge. Brunswick’s quarterly output, measured in tonnage, showed a 24.8 percent increase over last year, rising from 363,374 tons to 453,358 tons.

In monthly totals, retailers’ earlier than expected holiday season orders pushed the Port of Savannah’s growth rate over last year to 13.5 percent in total tonnage for the month of September, moving 2,080,925 tons of cargo in the single month. That figure is up from 1,833,590 tons moved in September 2010.The Port of Brunswick recorded 56.2 percent growth over last September’s 110,403 tons, to reach 172,453 in total tonnage for the month.

“The GPA will continue to watch closely and adjust to market forces,” said GPA Board Chairman Alec Poitevint, “so that even during a difficult economy, Georgia’s deepwater ports will remain a catalyst for economic growth and job creation"

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