AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Georgia, Redwood City, Saint John, Sept-Iles

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Georgia Ports: Record Growth in December; Inland Terminal Ground Breaking

December was a month of double-digit grows for the Georgia Ports Authority’s container and Ro/Ro trades. The container count set a December record at its Garden City complex in Savannah, up 12.3 percent from a year ago to 292,172 TEUs.   

Similarly, Roll-on/Roll-off cargo experienced a 12.3 percent increase, with a total of passenger vehicle and heavy equipment units moving through Colonel's Island terminal in Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah.

In its effort to stay ahead of demand and accommodate future needs, the GPA broke ground last month for the Appalachian Regional Port (ARA), a new inland terminal in northwest Georgia. GPA estimates the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 50,000 moves annually and expand market opportunities in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.  It believes the new inland terminal will enhance the global competitiveness of flooring, automobiles, tires and other goods manufactured in the region and cut reducing carbon emissions. 

GPA Expects ARA to Be Operational by Third Quarter 2018

The GPA marked its busiest year ever in loaded container traffic in 2016, moving 2.94 million TEUs, an increase of 71,083 TEUs from 2015. Total cargo across all terminals reached 31.22 million tons in the year just ended. Counting loaded and empty containers, the Port of Savannah moved 3.64 million TEUs in calendar year 2016.

Port Saint John Posts Cargo, Cruise Traffic Gains in 2016

Port Saint John reports cargo throughput in 2016, totaled some 26.4 million metric tons, an increase of 2,419 tons compared to 2015. Gains by liquid bulk and breakbulk forest products offset declines in containerized and dry bulk cargo tonnage.

The container count dropped to 90,620 TEUs from 97,114 TEUs in 2015. The port’s cruise business rose for the second consecutive year, up 35.1 percent compared to 2016.

"We are in a transitional phase in the next steps of modernizing this port," said Jim Quinn, Port Saint John’s president & CEO. "As we start 2017, we are particularly excited that our new partner DP World Saint John is now in operation. This partnership blends their global reach and influence together with our terminal modernization plan to achieve the common objective of continued growth and a bright future for the port and its supporting port service community."

"The board of directors is proud of the work our entire port community is doing to create growth at the port," said Port Authority Chair Phil Brewer. "Activity that happens here is an important contributor to local economies across our Province. Products from all corners of the Province are shipped to the port using New Brunswick truckers, rail and roads. The port opens the global marketplace to New Brunswick producers."

Redwood City Cargo Up Slightly in First Half FY 2017 

The Port of Redwood City reports cargo shipments totaling 860,349 metric tons crossed its docks during the first six months of the fiscal year that began last July 1. That equates to an increase of 0.2 percent from first half FY 2015-16. 

Imported sand and aggregates used in Silicon Valley and Redwood City construction projects accounted for 589,735 metric tons. Other cargo through December 2016 included 154,401tons of shredded scrap metal exports, 72,111 tons of imported gypsum, and miscellaneous quantities of inbound bauxite, sand and ground slag.

Construction aggregates arrive at the port from Vancouver Island (BC) aboard self-discharging bulk carriers operated by Canadian Steamship Lines and are used to make concrete. Sims Metal Management exports scrap metal recycled at the port to the Far East.  

Forty-nine vessels (36 ships and 13 barges) called Redwood City during first half FY 2016-17.
Sept-Iles Cargo Tonnage Up in 2016 

Cargo throughput at the Port of Sept-Îles totaled 23.0 million metric tons in 2016, an increase of 1.0 percent from 22.7 million tons in 2015. Iron ore was the principal cargo, including shipments of 18.6 million tons by IOC Rio Tinto and 1.6 million tons by Tata Steel Minerals Canada.

The year 2016 got off to a strong start on February 1 when the Superior Court of Quebec approved the port authority’s acquisition of land owned as part of proceedings initiated by the Wabush mining company under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Those 407 hectares/1,006 acres allowed the port to increase the space available for development near its Pointe-Noire, Relance, and new multi-user docks. 

In the same vein, the Québec government, along with Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire (SFPPN), became a new port user and partner by acquiring all of the mining company’s other assets covered by the sale procedure under the same federal law. As a result, in December the port and SFPPN signed important, strategic long-term commercial agreements to develop the full potential of Pointe-Noire. 

Additionally, the City and Port of Sept-Îles confirmed work would continue for the environmental observatory for the Bay of Sept-Îles thanks to a new financial partnership consisting of the port authority, Société du Plan Nord, the City of Sept-Îles, and other Sept-Îles industry members. 

Another highlight of the year was the resumption of shipping from the Pointe-Noire dock in the fall with the loading of three iron ore vessels two for SFPPN and one for Tata Steel Minerals Canada.  

With the difficult conditions that arose in the iron market in 2016, the Port of Sept-Îles had to deal with lower revenue and take every step to limit its operating and investment costs, as well as its community assistance program. 

"With the year ending with the signing of agreements with SFPPN and iron’s price recovery in the last weeks of 2016, we can view next year much more positively and with more excitement than the previous year," said Port Authority President and chief executive officer Pierre D. Gagnon. "With these new, more favorable conditions, the Port intends to work closely with its partners—Développement économique Sept-Îles, the Chamber of Commerce, and Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire—to back all future economic diversification initiatives the region needs." 

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