AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Georgia, Virginia

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Georgia Ports Authority breaks container volume record

Larger vessels and additional ocean services are having a positive impact on the Port of Savannah, where container throughput soared to a monthly high in May of 350,104 TEUs. That was up 11.7 percent compared to May 2016 and boosted the calendar year total to nearly 1.7 million TEUs and an increase from last year of 10.6 percent.

"It's evident shipping lines are deploying larger vessels and cargo exchanges through the Panama Canal to Georgia's ports," said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA). "This is a strong indicator that an important market share shift to Georgia is possible through recently restructured shipping services."

From July 2016 through May 2017, GPA’s Garden City Terminal received 1,676 vessel calls, including 454 via the expanded Panama Canal, resulting in a 16 percent upsurge in cargo bound to and from the terminal via the canal.
Mr. Lynch said recent calls by 13,000-plus TEU vessels — the COSCO Development and OOCL France -—demonstrated the efficiency of Garden City's single terminal operation. The 1,200-acre complex is served by 26 ship-to-shore cranes, nine container berths and on-terminal service by two Class I rail providers. These assets helped dock workers move more than 19,000 TEUs from these two neo-panamaxers, which called the Port of Savannah just 21 days apart.

"Our record-breaking performance in May with no congestion or operational issues gave our customers increased confidence in Georgia's ports," Mr. Lynch said. "This proves the GPA can simultaneously serve larger vessels and greater volumes while providing the excellent logistic solutions our customers have come to expect."

46,871 TEU. That came during a month when the port hosted sequential visits by two 13,000 TEU vessels — COSCO Development and OCCL France.

Virginia: Containers Hit Monthly High in May

The Port of Virginia® reports container throughput at its Hampton Roads jumped 12.5 percent from a year ago to a monthly record in May of 246,871 TEUs. The previous record, 238,567 TEUs, occurred in October 2016.

That came during a month when the port hosted sequential visits by two 13,000 TEU vessels  COSCO Development and OCCL France.

Other May data show year/on/year increases in container movements via rail (+13 percent), truck (+18 percent), barge (+49 percent) and the Richmond Marine Terminal (+29 percent). TEU throughput was up 8.6 percent for the first five months of CY 2017 and 7.4 percent for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2016. Click here for details.

Significantly, the port is handling more cargo but fewer vessels. In May, vessel call to 143 (from 173 in May 2016) even as cargo volume jumped 12.5 percent, a clear reflection of the growing size of container vessels now calling Hampton Roads. Virginia hosts port calls by seven Asia-US East Coast alliance services with vessel capacity totaling more than 61,000 TEUs weekly.

"The new alliances and the cargo owners are capitalizing on Virginia’s natural and man-made assets and our team is performing well," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "This kind of volume, combined with the growth we’ve had throughout the calendar and fiscal year, tells us that the industry is confident in The Port of Virginia’s ability to handle their cargo and do it well." 


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