Retailers, and manufacturers increase May volumes

A strengthening retail market combined with business from new customers is driving substantial growth at the Port of Savannah.

The Georgia Ports Authority handled 490,330 twenty-foot equivalent container units in May, an increase of 22 percent or nearly 90,000 TEUs over the same month a year ago.

“Major retail customers tell Georgia Ports they have increased their orders to rebuild inventories and to meet rising consumer demand,” said GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch. “Additionally, we’ve seen an increase in trade among Tier 1 suppliers for the new Hyundai Meta Plant, which also added to our May container volumes.”

While there have been reports of congestion at Southeast U.S. ports, Lynch said there is no congestion in Savannah.

He added that GPA is benefiting from source shifting, as more manufacturers establish production facilities in Southeast Asian locations that favor delivery via Savannah.

The Port of Savannah has achieved an increase in container trade for every month of Calendar Year 2024, compared to 2023. GPA’s May performance improved on its April numbers by 11 percent.

Lynch said June is also expected to be strongly in positive territory, with more than 320,000 TEUs of import cargo destined for Savannah currently on the water.

In intermodal cargo, the Appalachian Regional Port accomplished a record May, with the inland rail terminal moving 3,600 containers. Forty-foot boxes moved by rail at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal reached 44,000 last month, an increase of 2 percent or 900 containers.

For the calendar year to date, GPA has handled 2.2 million TEUs in total cargo, up 12.7 percent over the same period in 2023.

“The teamwork among our GPA employees and our supply chain partners delivers unmatched service for our customers,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain. “In order to press Georgia’s logistical advantage, the Board is investing significantly in new capacity across our docks, container yards, truck gates and rail connections.”

For the calendar year through May, the Port of Savannah has handled 770 vessels, an increase of 36 compared to the same period last year.