Ports Au­thor­ity reaches 3 mil­lion con­tainer mark

The Standard Journal - - Local -

SA­VAN­NAH, Ga. (AP) — The Ge­or­gia Ports Au­thor­ity has reached a mile­stone by break­ing the 3 mil­lion con­tainer mark.

The au­thor­ity an­nounced the mile­stone on Mon­day, and also said that it moved more than 29 mil­lion tons of cargo and more than 700,000 auto and ma­chin­ery units in fis­cal year 2014.

It was the first time for the Port of Sa­van­nah to move more than 3 mil­lion con­tain­ers -also known as 20- foot equiv­a­lent con­tainer units -- in a fis­cal year. The num­ber was up by 6.3 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

The Port of Sa­van­nah’s con­tainer busi­ness has hov­ered above 2.9 mil­lion but stayed just short of 3 mil­lion for each of the past three fis­cal years, which run July 1 to June 30.

Cargo con­tain­ers loaded with ev­ery­thing from re­tail elec­tron­ics to frozen chick­ens have made Sa­van­nah one of the busiest ports in the na­tion. Since 2006, Sa­van­nah has moved more con­tainer­ized cargo than any U. S. port other than New York, Los An­ge­les and Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia. It was just eight years ago that Sa­van­nah sur­passed 2 mil­lion con­tain­ers and vaulted past Charleston, South Carolina to be­come the fourth- busiest U. S. con­tainer port.

Port officials said they fell short in fis­cal 2013 be­cause of the threat of an East Coast strike among dock­work­ers. No strike hap­pened, but the threat caused ship­pers to di­vert some cargo to the West Coast.

“Our ports’ suc­cess is a win for us all, and a di­rect re­sult of Ge­or­gia’s com­mit­ment to the GPA and sup­port for crit­i­cal port in­fra­struc­ture projects such as the har­bor deep­en­ing and en­hanced ac­cess to In­ter­state 95 and In­ter­state 16,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a state­ment.

“Ge­or­gia’s deep- wa­ter ter­mi­nals sup­port jobs, in­vest­ment and eco­nomic devel­op­ment in ev­ery county across the state,” Deal added.

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