Two new mobile harbor cranes have been delivered to the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal as the Georgia Ports Authority expands its container-handling and berth capacity. The cranes will offload containers from vessels carrying up to 4,800 twenty-foot equivalent container units.
“We’re developing this into a niche terminal that will provide the highest priority and service to vessels in this class,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Expanded container service at Ocean Terminal could start as early as this year.”
Ships carrying up to 4,800-TEUs were previously served at Garden City Terminal’s Berth 1, which is slated to undergo renovation to straighten a bend. The berth renovation at Savannah’s main container port is necessary to accommodate additional 14,000-TEU ships. Berth 1 construction, when complete in 2023, will allow the GPA to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously.
“Even during the downturn, Savannah’s market share has continued to increase,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “Making strategic investments in our future and the future of our customers is what has enabled Savannah to become the third busiest gateway in the nation for container trade.”
With a lift capacity of 125 tons, the mobile harbor cranes can be configured to handle either containers or breakbulk cargo.
Additionally, a portion of the docks at Ocean Terminal is being revamped for container ships, and new storage space will be added on terminal. By the end of Calendar Year 2020, the renovation project will deliver improvements to Berth 18, an expanded container yard for dry and refrigerated boxes, eight new rubber-tired gantry cranes, and a new truck gate with direct access to Interstate 516. The expanded container terminal will have an annual capacity of 225,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units.
“This exciting new development at OT will allow the GPA to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers while the improvements are being made to Berth 1 in Garden City,” said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.