20.6% increase in total tonnage through first 10 months of FY08
Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled a total of more than 21.4 million tons of cargo for all terminal facilities, including Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus and Savannah in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2008 (July 2007 ’ April 2008), a 20.6% increase, putting the Authority on track to record its most successful year.
‘Georgia’s ports are dynamic economic engines that continue to thrive even during tough economic times,’ said Governor Sonny Perdue. ‘The completion of the Container Berth 8 and 9 project and the addition of four new cranes in Savannah as well as the expansion of the grain and rail facilities in Brunswick have sharpened Georgia’s advantages over its competitors.’
The Port of Savannah is now the fourth busiest and fastest growing container terminal in the United States. The Garden City Terminal in Savannah is also poised to post a record-breaking year with more than 2.2 million Twenty foot Equivalent Unit containers (teus) handled in the first 10 months of FY08, a 19% increase compared with the previous year.
The Port of Brunswick has experienced unprecedented growth in the movement of agricultural products so far this fiscal year. The Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick has handled 684,894 tons of bulk commodities from July 2007 to April 2008, a 98.5 percent increase compared with the previous year.
‘These record setting tonnage and container totals are a tribute to Governor Perdue’s leadership, the support of the state leadership and the hard work of the men and women of the Georgia Ports Authority,’ said Steve Green, GPA’s Chairman of the Board.
Perdue added that the GPA has managed to increase tonnage and capacity while reducing its reliance on diesel. ‘Several years ago the GPA launched a program that would eventually transfer its massive ship-to-shore cranes from diesel to electric,’ said Governor Perdue. ‘Today GPA operates 17 post Panamax cranes powered solely by electric power, which will conserve more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel every year and prevent the release of hundreds of tons of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter into Georgia’s air.’
‘You can count on more great things from the GPA as an extensive program of expansion and construction projects are commenced and completed in accordance with our Focus 2015 Master Plan,’ said GPA Executive Director Doug J. Marchand. ‘The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project which will deepen the harbor to as much as 48 feet is the GPA’s number one infrastructure priority and critical to the continued success of Georgia’s ports.’
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $14.9 billion in income, $55.8 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s thriving economy.