Intermodal cargo continues its powerful rise at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), achieving 10.5% growth in July. Over the past three years, the Port of Savannah has grown its rail volume by 35.4%, completing more than 507,000 intermodal lifts in the fiscal year that ended in June.
The Port of Savannah handled 47,255 rail lifts last month, an increase of 4,511 containers compared to 2018, which held the previous record for July.
The growth comes as the first sections of new rail track have become operational on the Mason Mega Rail terminal, now 40% complete. Phase 1 of the $218-million project will open by year’s end. When Phase II opens in 2020, the project will have doubled the Port of Savannahs rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year.
Mason Mega Rail. Construction on the Port of Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail project is 40% complete. The expanded terminal will double rail lift capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1 million containers per year. (Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Savannah will have the largest on-dock intermodal rail facility of any port in North America. With an enhanced capability for 10,000-foot long trains on terminal, Mega Rail will slash up to 24 hours from our delivery times by enabling direct service to destinations across the Midwest.—GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight
Additionally, the Mega Rail Terminal will improve vehicle traffic flow in neighboring communities by moving all rail switching on terminal.
Savannah’s intermodal success helped drive the port to its busiest July ever for overall container trade, with 387,024 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 8,257 TEUs or 2.2% compared to the same month last year.
The Authority commissioned four new Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes in 2018, bringing its Garden City fleet to 30—the most of any single terminal in North America. Another six cranes will arrive next year, allowing GPA to move up to 1,200 containers per hour across a single dock.
Over the summer, Garden City Terminal received 10 new Rubber-Tired Gantry cranes. Two more are set to arrive in October, bringing the RTG fleet to 158.