Georgia Ports set Ro/Ro record as container volume declines Ship’s crew

The Georgia Ports Authority reported record roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) volume in fiscal 2023 as container volumes at the Port of Savannah plummeted but are still above pre-pandemic volumes.

The GPA’s fiscal year runs from July to June each year.

The GPA Port of Brunswick saw a significant increase in Ro/Ro imports and exports in FY23, with imports up 24% and exports up over 7% year-on-year. The GPA highlighted the addition of Nissan as a new customer to Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick, which now handles Nissan imports from Japan and Mexico.

“The Port of Brunswick has seen strong growth in heavy machinery imports and exports, while improved microchip provision for automakers has also resulted in an increase in vehicles,” said GPA President/CEO Griff Lynch. “I want to thank our customers for their continued trust in Brunswick as a premier gateway to the United States and to automotive fabricators for the superior service they provide.”

For containers, the Port of Savannah handled 5.4 million TEUs, down 6.7% from the record high in FY2022, but up 20% from pre-pandemic volumes in FY2019. According to the GPA, the average annual growth rate has increased to 4.7% per year since the 2019 financial year.

According to PIERS data from S&P Global, the Port of Savannah achieved the highest market share in container trade of any US port with 11.2% in April.

“This continues a trend driven by the rapidly growing population in the U.S. Southeast, increased domestic production, and a shift in overseas manufacturing to India and Southeast Asia, favoring delivery via Savannah,” Lynch said.

To meet future demand, GPA is investing $1.9 billion in infrastructure projects, including the renovation of Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal, which will increase berth capacity by 25%. The upgraded Berth 1, which recently reopened on July 20th, will allow shipping companies faster turnaround times.

Port of Brunswick upgrades include new processing areas and additional car storage, increasing Ro/Ro capacity to 1.4 million vehicles per year from the current 1.2 million. GPA has also received approval to construct a fourth Ro/Ro berth on Colonel’s Island to better accommodate 7,000 vehicle class carriers.

“New business and new capacity make the Port of Brunswick the premier automotive port in the country,” said Fountain. “Colonel’s Island is already the largest US terminal in terms of current area and has room for growth. It offers exporters a wide network of sea transport companies and allows importers easy access to the region’s dealers.”

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