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Georgia Ports auto volumes up 44 percent in April

In its busiest month ever for autos and heavy equipment, the Georgia Ports Authority handled a record 80,600 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo in April, an increase of more than 44 percent, or 24,760 units, compared to the same month last year, according to a report to the GPA Board.

Also at the May 21 meeting, Board members re-elected Chairman Kent Fountain, Vice Chairman Alec Poitevint and Secretary-Treasurer Chris Womack to a second term in those positions. The officers were first elected in 2023. Their new terms start July 1.

“I want to thank Kent, Alec, and Chris, as well as the entire team at GPA, for their leadership in making our ports an incredible driver of economic opportunity,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “Thanks to their efforts, Georgia’s ports have navigated recent challenges in global trade while continuing to outpace the competition.”

GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch said several factors are leading to growth at the Port of Brunswick.

“Asian imports remain strong, but we are also seeing an uptick in vehicle exports, new customers have chosen Georgia Ports, and we have increased capacity for existing customers,” Lynch reported at the GPA board meeting. “Additionally, manufacturers are working to raise dealership stocks from the current 14-day inventories to 30 days’ worth of vehicles.”

In addition to organic growth, diversions from the Port of Baltimore increased volumes at Colonel’s Island Terminal. Approximately 9,000 import vehicles were diverted to Brunswick, as well as another 1,000 units of high/heavy equipment. Heavy machinery exports were up by 500 units compared to GPA’s monthly average of 246 units for fiscal year 2024. “We are expecting the impact of diverted cargo to taper off in June, as the Port of Baltimore works to fully restore service,” Lynch added.

For the first three quarters of FY2024 (July 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024), GPA averaged 69,880 units per month in total Ro/Ro.

April Container Volumes

In container trade, the Port of Savannah moved 441,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units in April, an increase of 8 percent, or more than 32,000 TEUs compared to the same month last year. It was GPA’s third busiest April on record after 2021 and 2022.

“The teamwork among our GPA employees, ILA locals, stevedores and others delivers the world-class service that cargo owners have come to expect from Georgia Ports,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain. “The unmatched efficiency at the ports of Brunswick and Savannah is one reason Georgia has been chosen as the best state to do business for ten years in a row.”

Import loads reached 211,900 TEUs, up 8.3 percent or 16,200 TEUs compared to April 2023. Export loads accounted for 122,500 TEUs last month, an increase of 4,235 TEUs or 3.6 percent.

Source: Georgia Ports Authority

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