The Georgia Ports Authority broke the all-time record in May, moving 519,390 twenty-foot equivalents and breaking the previous record of 504,350 TEU set last October.
Volumes in May were also 8.5% higher compared to the same period last year.
The diversion of ships to the port of Savannah from West Coast ports and other East Coast ports may have contributed to the increase in May, when the Garden City terminal handled more cases in recent weeks, especially compared to the sharp volume last fall, according to GPA . Executive Director Griff Lynch.
The Garden City terminal also increased by 900,000 TEUs as of April, and another 300,000 TEUs are expected to appear in July. After the expansion, the terminal will have more than 7 million TEU for container handling.
“Strong consumer demand continues to stimulate larger volumes at the port of Savannah,” Lynch said in a release. “Infrastructure improvements and pop-up yards approved by the GPA board have allowed our operations to maintain freight through our terminal, despite the unprecedented volume of containers passing through the port.”
Other container expansion projects are ongoing and are aimed at supporting industries such as automotive, agriculture and retail. The first phase of the Garden City Terminal West expansion added a 25-acre container yard next to the busy trucking route, Highway 21, while Phase 2 will add up to 1 million TEU of annual capacity. Phase 2 is due to go online in 2023, according to the GPA.
Also in May, the GPA increased bulk cargo by 28% to 320,722 tons. Bulk goods include iron and steel, rubber and wood products.
The GPA record for all time in May fell on the fact that other East Coast ports reached milestones within a month.
Port of Virginia said last week it handled more than 314,000 TEUs in May, the highest volume in port history and beats a previous record set in December 2021, while South Carolina Ports said May was the 15th month in a row cargo records at the port of Charleston. Steady retail imports have helped the port of Charleston experience an increase in volumes of almost 11% over the same period last year, in May volumes amounted to 255,104 TEU.