The Georgia Ports Authority moved 2.33 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) for the calendar year through July, up 10.8 percent, or an additional 230,000 TEUs.
"It is through the incredible efficiency and productivity of GPA employees and the International Longshoremen's Association – as well as the continued commitment of shippers and customers – that these record volumes are possible," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "Georgia's renewed investments, strong support from Gov. Nathan Deal and state leaders and superior logistics are encouraging customers to bring more business here."
In what was its busiest July ever, the Port of Savannah handled more than 336,000 TEUs, a 6.8 percent increase.
"Our July performance underscores the value of our deepwater ports to the nation's economy," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "Our terminals support the exports of our farms and factories, supply components for domestic manufacturing, and ensure the efficiency of retail commerce."
Also as of July 31, total tonnage crossing GPA docks grew by 13 percent, or 2.37 million tons, to reach 20.67 million tons. In July alone, breakbulk cargo grew by 12.3 percent for a total of 232,390 tons – part of strong performances in Savannah and Brunswick for bulk and breakbulk commodities.
Lumber handled at Savannah's Ocean Terminal more than doubled in July, from 2,366 tons in July 2016 to 7,702 tons last month. A strengthening construction industry has improved demand for lumber, with single-family housing starts increasing by 7 percent during the first quarter of 2017 and multi-family housing up by 9 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, Ocean Terminal's breakbulk tonnage grew by 22 percent last month, to reach a total of 124,150 tons.
The iron and steel category is also up at Ocean Terminal, growing by 10.3 percent to 51,644 tons in July. A manufacturing report issued by the Institute for Supply Management stated that new orders, production, employment, backlog and exports were all expanding in July compared to June. Similarly, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics found increasing employment in July in manufacturing, led by gains in fabricated metal products, transportation equipment and machinery.
At East River Terminal in Brunswick, wood pellets used for fuel rebounded from zero last July to 49,011 tons in July 2017, powering a 75.7 percent growth in overall bulk cargo business at East River, which reached 68,813 tons.