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Shipping Service: Georgia, Port Everglades

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Georgia: Savannah Sees First Vessel Through Expanded Panama Canal

The 10,100 TEU MOL Benefactor at the Port of Savannah
Photo/Georgia Ports Authority, Stephen B. Morton

MOL Benefactor became the first vessel to reach the Port of Savannah via the new locks of the expanded Panama Canal when it docked at Garden City Terminal on July 13. With a container capacity of 10,100 TEUs, it was also the largest ship ever to call the Georgia port.

During its Savannah stopover, the massive container ship moved more than 3,000 containers. It was also the first Savannah call by G6 Alliance's new NYX service, which employs exclusively vessels in the 10,000-TEU range. 

Other East Coast ports in the loop are New York/New Jersey and Virginia. Benefactor's next scheduled stop was Manzanillo International Terminal in Panamá.

"The arrival of the MOL Benefactor today ushers in a new era of larger vessels and services that will increase capacity, volumes and economic opportunities for Georgia and this region," said Griff Lynch, GPA's Executive Director. "GPA is well-positioned to handle the larger vessels and greater volumes due to the scale and scope of our operations."

The eight new neo-Panamax cranes on order will give the GPA a total of 30 ship-to-shore cranes by 2018. GPA has also added 30 rubber-tired gantry cranes, boosting its current fleet of 146 machines.  

"Over the next six months to a year, we expect a higher ratio of 8,000- to 10,000- TEU container ships among our vessels calls. Within two years, we expect market shifts to send 12,000-TEU vessels to the U.S. East Coast," Mr. Lynch added.

To accommodate the larger vessels, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will deepen the inner harbor to 47 feet and the outer harbor to 49 feet at mean low water. The outer portion is now 15 percent complete.

Port Everglades Added to Hapag-Lloyd's Direct Mediterranean Service

Hapag-Lloyd has added a direct call at Port Everglades to its Mediterranean Gulf Express (MGX) service. The full port rotation is Cagliari, Livorno and Genoa (Italy); Barcelona and Valencia (Spain); Port Everglades; Kingston (Jamaica); Veracruz and Altamira (Mexico); Houston; and New Orleans before returning to Italy.

Port Everglades is expecting the new service will boost throughput by 300 to 400 TEUs weekly. Florida International Terminals is the terminal operator.

"We are pleased to welcome this enhanced service that will provide additional shipping options for our customers," said Jim Pyburn, director of the port's business development division.

Hapag-Lloyd also operates a weekly service from the Mediterranean and Northern Europe to Port Everglades through Florida International Terminal.


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