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Ports handle record tonnage in April

POSTED: May 20, 2013 7:44 p.m.

Georgia Ports Authority moved 2.4 million tons of cargo in April, a 4.7 percent increase — or 108,532 tons — over the same month a year ago.


This figure was boosted by a strong performance in containers, bulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo.


“Our total tonnage makes April the highest volume month on record,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “And with companies like Haier appliances, Kent bicycles and Pep Boys recently choosing the Port of Savannah, our drawing power for cargo is only getting stronger.”


The GPA also achieved a 4 percent increase in container traffic for April, moving 258,951 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), or 10,040 TEUs more than April 2012. Foltz said April container volume was 11.3 percent higher than March.


Exports remain dominant, representing 54 percent of loaded volume.


The GPA moved 57,709 auto and machinery units in April, its third-highest month for roll-on, roll-off cargo. Since July 1, Brunswick and Savannah have moved 526,348 units, a 14.1 percent increase over the previous fiscal year to date.


“We are seeing strong performance because cargo owners know they can get their goods to market faster when they come through Georgia,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson. “Our streamlined service on-port, combined with better connections to the hinterlands by road and rail, make our deepwater ports the obvious choice for global trade.”


In other news:


• Foltz reported that four new ship-to-shore cranes are slated to arrive at Garden City Terminal the second week of June. The new cranes will bring the total number of electric-powered ship-to-shore cranes to 25. Of those, nine are post-Panamax, and 16 are super-post-Panamax.


• Bulk cargo led tonnage growth, more than doubling last April’s performance to reach 253,908 tons, an increase of 133,693 tons or 111.2 percent.


• Liquid bulk was up 38.4 percent with significant increases in chemicals and vegetable oils.

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