Port Traffic Metrics: Port Manatee, Savannah

Port Manatee Breaks Container, Tonnage Records
Record container throughput and cargo tonnage highlighted the fiscal year ending September 30 at Port Manatee.
The year-end box tally, 39,726 TEUs, bested by 51.6 percent the 26,210 TEUs handled in FY 2015-16 and shattered the port’s previous record, 30,431 TEUs in FY 2009-10. 
Similarly, containerized cargo soared to an all-time high of 363,195 short tons, up 39.1 percent from 261,094 tons in FY 2015-16 and 35.3 percent more than the old record of 268,530 tons set in fiscal 2009-10.
Cargo shipments overall set still another record, 7,809,859 tons, up 13.4 percent from 6,889,603 tons in fiscal 2016 and 0.9 percent more than the previous record of 7,736,724 tons in fiscal 2010.
Included in the FY 2017 total are: Dry cargo – 1,326,741 tons ( 64.3 percent from fiscal 2016); breakbulk tons – 548,855 ( 3.4 percent); and liquid bulk tons – 5,571,068 ( 5.3 percent).
Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, said the big boost in container activity is largely due to the ongoing transition to containers from breakbulk shipping by longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. for Central American pineapple and banana imports, plus the success of World Direct Shipping’s weekly service that has brought refrigerated produce from Mexico since November 2014.
"All signs point to another record-breaking year for container activity in fiscal 2018," Mr. Buqueras said, noting World Direct Shipping’s plans to augment its weekly sailings from Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, with a second weekly service from Tuxpan, Veracruz, beginning in January. "These are truly exciting times at Port Manatee."

Del Monte’s Antwerp Trader at Port Manatee.
Photo/Port Manatee
Port of Savannah Moves 1M TEUs in First Quarter
Georgia Ports Authority reports container volumes totaling more than 1.0 million TEUs moved through its Garden City complex in the Port of Savannah during the first quarter of the fiscal year that began July 1. That beat first quarter FY 2016-17 by 5.8 percent, or 44,629 TEUs. Throughput in September alone increased 5.4 percent from a year ago to 325,141 TEUs.
"Sustained organic growth coupled with increased market share are driving these volume increases," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "We have also achieved major gains through the addition of Neo-Panamax vessels to the fleet serving Garden City Terminal."
First quarter containerized cargo throughput also increased, by 8.1 percent to 7.23 million short tons.
During his annual Savannah State of the Port address on October 12, Mr. Lynch outlined an infrastructure improvement plan to accommodate strong growth, expand existing markets and develop new ones. Included in the plan is the purchase of 10 ship-to-shore cranes – four to arrive in 2018 and six by 2020. The new units will increase the size of the GPA fleet to 36 and enable Garden City Terminal to move 1,300 containers per hour on and off vessels.
Additionally, the GPA’s $128 million Mega-Rail project will increase rail lift capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1.0 million containers per year by 2020. The project will add 97,000 feet of new track (including 18 new working tracks), bring all switching on-terminal and accommodate trains up to two miles long.
In 2018, the GPA's Appalachian Regional Port, an inland terminal in Chatsworth (GA) will open for service. The CSX-served container yard will extend Savannah's market reach into Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
During the coming year as well, the GPA will add six truck lanes at Garden City Terminal for a total of 54 lanes, a 12.5 percent increase.

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch delivers his State of the Port address, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Savannah.
Photo/Georgia Ports Authority, Stephen B. Morton