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Regional Impacts: Georgia, Grays Harbor

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In his State of the Port address, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported record cargo volumes, an influx of new business, and more than 1 million square feet of distribution center space leased or developed. Five vessel calls in a four-day span in early August had the Port of Grays Harbor abuzz with activity and employment at all four of the port's deep-water terminals, and the port documented the employment this vessel activity created in those four days.

Georgia: GPA Added Cargo, Customers in FY2013 

In his State of the Port address, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported record cargo volumes, an influx of new business, and more than 1 million square feet of distribution center space leased or developed. 

"Not only did the ports authority achieve strong growth across major segments of our business, but the private sector responded with the lease or development of more than 1.1 million square feet of distribution center space," said Mr. Foltz. "Of the added space, more than 300,000 square feet is dedicated to cold storage – strengthening Georgia’s position in the expanding cold chain logistics market.

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz addresses more than 1,200 attendees during the 2013 State of the Port address, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Savannah.
Photo/ GPA, Stephen Morton

New customers contributing to the distribution center growth included Nordic Logistics, Gulf States Cold Storage, appliance maker Haier America, medical supplier Dukal, third-party logistics provider OHL, Kent Bicycle, Giumarra International Berry and Huffy Bicycles. In roll-on/roll-off cargo, GPA gains were thanks in part to new export business from Toyota and Nissan, as well import vehicles from Subaru. 

In fiscal year 2013, the GPA achieved a record 27 million total tons, an increase of 651,250 tons or 2.4 percent. It also handled 637,000 auto and machinery units, an increase of 11.7 percent; 2.5 million tons of bulk cargo, up 62 percent; and more than 315,000 intermodal containers, another record for the authority. Mr. Foltz said the total tonnage growth was thanks to the GPA’s varied cargo mix, including the container trade, agribulk and breakbulk cargos, such as forest products, and autos and machinery. He detailed a capital improvement plan, including $186 million allocated to capital improvement across fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Major improvements include the addition of four super post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes. Other include: 
  • 20 new rubber-tired gantry cranes
  • 20 new 24-slot refrigerated container racks
  • Upgrades to mooring bollards in order to serve larger ships
  • A 500-ton heavy lift barge crane 
Speaking four days before the September 16 visit by Vice President Joe Biden, Mr. Foltz noted that in FY 2013, the GPA received final approval for its Savannah Harbor expansion project (SHEP). The U.S. Army’s Record of Decision found the project to deepen the river from 42 to 47 feet is economically feasible and environmentally sound. Additionally, Georgia completed a successful mediation with South Carolina environmental interests and allocated another $50 million to construction. The state has thus far dedicated $231 million to the harbor expansion. 

"The final step before dredging can begin is for Congress to update the approved expenditure to the current estimate of $652 million," Mr. Foltz said. "We’re looking forward to this final action by Congress to allow construction to move forward."

Grays Harbor: Vessel Calls Create Hundreds of Jobs 

Five vessel calls in a four-day span in early August had the Port of Grays Harbor abuzz with activity at all four of the port’s deep-water terminals, including the first log ship to call Terminal 3 in 17 years. 

Here is a quick look at the employment this vessel activity created in those four days, as described in the port’s Around the Docks newsletter: 
  • One roll-on/roll-off ship loading autos and over-high and over-wide cargoes at Terminal 4 = 210 longshore jobs 
  • One liquid bulk ship loading the largest volume of biodiesel to be shipped through PGH to date at Terminal 1 = 20 longshore jobs 
  • One dry bulk vessel loading Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) at Terminal 2 = 63 longshore jobs 
  • Two log ships at Terminals 3 & 4 = 250 longshore jobs. 
In addition to longshore jobs, shipping activity in this four-day span supported: 
  • 13 log truck drivers 
  • 11 tug moves employing 2 people on the tug 
  • 11 pilot moves employing 2.5 people per move while providing training for a new pilot 
  • 24 port security guard shifts 
  • One U.S. Customs official 
  • Six port staffers working to ensure safe, efficient equipment operation 
 

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