Port Traffic Trends: Davisville, Georgia, Northwest Alliance

Davisville Auto Imports and Ship Calls at Record Highs

2015 is proving to be another banner year for the Port of Davisville. With little more than a month to go in 2015, the Rhode Island port has already imported more than 190,000 autos, up from the full calendar year high of 178,215 set in 2014 and nearly five times the number handled just 15 years ago.

On November 18, the port received its 169th ship of 2015, breaking last year’s record of 168 ships.

Located near the mouth of Narragansett Bay, Davisville offers 4,500 linear feet of berthing space, 32 feet controlling depth - mean low water (MLW), intermodal container services and nearly 60 acres of laydown area and terminal storage. The port is not subject to the federal Harbor Maintenance fee.

The port is part of a 3,200 acre business park complex owned and managed by Quonset Development Corporation, a Rhode Island state agency that is wholly dependent on the port for its operating revenues. Quonset Business Park is home to almost 200 companies, employing more than 10,000 people in full- and part-time jobs across a variety of industries.

"The record breaking numbers for both vessels arriving and autos imported are another reflection of the robust growth we've had at the Port of Davisville in recent years," said Steven J. King, managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation. "That success is due to the outstanding collaboration we have with NORAD [North Atlantic Distribution, Inc.], the major auto processor and distributor at the port. This is an achievement all Rhode Islanders should be proud of."

Aerial view of the Port of Davisville
Photo/Quonset Development Corp.

Georgia: October Container Volumes Up 3 Percent, Facility Expansion in Brunswick and Savannah

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reports container traffic through its Garden City terminal in the Port of Savannah reached 321,094 TEUs in October, an increase from last year of 3.0 percent, or 9,335 TEUs. That brought the fiscal year total for July-October to 1.77 million TEUs, up 6.2 percent from the comparable period of FY 2014-15. View monthly TEU data through October 2015.

"Month over month container volume growth continues to outperform expectations," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz in his report during the port authority November 16 board meeting. "Inflated volumes in 2014 due to West Coast cargo diversions are beginning to return to normal levels. We are optimistic consumer spending in the U.S. during the upcoming holiday season will lead to volume growth going into 2016."

During that same meeting, the port authority board approved the expenditure of $12.75 million for a 63-acre expansion of the Port of Brunswick's vehicle storage area. "The growing strength of the Southeastern U.S. market, combined with increased market share at Georgia's deepwater ports, have required a steady increase in capacity in both Savannah and Brunswick," said Board Chairman Jim Walters. "The action taken by the board today will serve as a strong sales tool to prospective customers."

At Savannah, the following projects will come online in 2016: a new truck gate, adding eight interchange lanes; four new ship-to-shore cranes (for a total of 26); 30 new rubber-tired gantry cranes (for a total of 146); and the Georgia Department of Transportation's Jimmy Deloach Parkway that will provide a direct link between the port and Interstates 95 and 16.

Mr. Foltz also reported the GPA has been awarded a $990,000 EPA grant under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act. The money will go toward a truck rebate and finance program to help owner/operators purchase container hauling trucks with a 2010 or newer engine. The program is aimed at retiring older, less efficient diesel trucks in order to reduce emissions. GPA will also partner with a financing vendor to double the program's capacity to $1.98 million.

Since 2001, GPA has achieved a 51 percent decrease in diesel use per TEU moved. By shifting from diesel to electric power for ship-to-shore cranes, refrigerated container racks and rubber-tired gantry cranes, the authority avoids the use of 5.8 million gallons of diesel annually. 

Northwest Seaport Alliance Container Volumes Top 3 Million through October

The Northwest Seaport Alliance saw container volumes surpass the 3 million TEU mark in October, a 5 percent increase from January-October 2014.

In detail, the numbers show increases from a year ago for import loads (+7.8 percent), domestic movements to and from Hawaii and Alaska (+1.0 percent), and empty containers (+38.1 percent and a 10 percent year-on-year decline for export loads.

October throughput rose 2.8 percent from a year ago mainly because of a hefty increase in empty container moves.  

Auto imports again posted gains in October—up more than 6 percent year to date to 154,291 units—as 2016 models began arriving. Meanwhile, year-to-date breakbulk volumes and, grain, log, petroleum and molasses exports continue to be impacted by adverse market conditions.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

For detailed port traffic data, see October 2015 container volumes and cargo statistics.