AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Baltimore, Georgia

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Baltimore: Record First quarter for General Cargo

The public marine terminals in the Port of Baltimore set a first quarter record this year of 2,560,065 short tons of general cargo. That beat by 4.8 percent the previous record, last year’s 2,443,062 tons. General cargo includes cars, containers, farm and construction machinery, forest products and breakbulk.  

This year’s growth was mainly due to cars and containers, with gains from January-March 2016 of 6 percent and 8 percent respectively as "larger ships bring more cargo to Maryland."  Last year, Baltimore’s container trade hit a record high of 869,485 TEUs.   

Georgia: Double digit growth for Cargo Tons, Containers in April

Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reports container movements at its Garden City complex in the Port of Savannah totaled 333,006 TEUs in April, an increase from a year ago of 11.7 percent. Cargo shipments through GPA terminals statewide also increased, by 13 percent to 2.94 million short tons. It was a record April for cargo tonnage and second after April 2015 for container traffic.

"Savannah has established itself as a premier gateway serving the Eastern United States," said Griff Lynch, GPA's executive director. "Our team is not only keeping pace with record volumes, but has managed to set new industry standards in cargo velocity, berth productivity and congestion free gates."

Earlier this month, Savannah hosted COSCO Development, the first 13,000-TEU vessel to call the U.S. East Coast. Working 30 hours at Garden City Terminal, six cranes moved more than 9,700 TEUs on and off the vessel, achieving net berth productivity of 220 boxes per hour.

Last month's performance continues a surge of growth for the GPA, boosting throughput for the calendar year through April to 1.3 million TEUs and an increase from last year of 10.2 percent.  

Mr. Lynch said the scale and scope of Garden City Terminal is perfectly suited for the massive exchanges coming on and off Neo-Panamax vessels. "As the size of vessels grows, so does the need for larger terminals with significant assets to handle increased volumes. At 1,200 acres, handling nearly 10,000 truck moves per day and 38 trains per week, Savannah is perfectly positioned to fill this need," he noted.

Reefer cargo - a sector that includes export poultry, peanuts, pecans and blueberries among other farm produce - grew by 8.2 percent in April and 11.6 percent year to date (to a total of 23,661 containers).

Auto and machinery traffic via the GPA’s Savannah and Brunswick facilities rose 3.5 percent year-to-date to 217,729 units.

At its May 21 meeting, the GPA board approved the purchase of three new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes for use at the Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth (GA). The GPA will operate inland port when it opens in 2018.

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