Some wait for their ship to come in, the logistic community surrounding the Georgia Ports Authority waits for the prior year’s numbers to sail in! The waters were rough, and the storms raged during 2020 but the Port still managed to not only endure but still grow. By moving 4.68 million twenty-foot equivalent container units they outpaced 2019 by 1.8 percent. This may be significantly less growth than anticipated in 2019 without all the criteria we now have available. Pivot, adapt, COVID-19, and zoom are on the top of everyone’s “words I wish I never had to hear again” list but the logistics community did all that and not only maintained the survival of a grateful nation, but still managed to grow. The nation faced its most challenging year and there is still a road to recovery, however it is important to take the time to acknowledge the positive developments and the people who made that possible.
The year started off strong despite a slowdown in shipping due to trade concerns and covid hitting overseas in late 2019. The Savannah Georgia Port Authority still started the year off by tallying the record-breaking movement of 4. 6 million container units. 2019 saw an increase of 250,000 TEUs from the year before totally 5.6 percent growth.
February continued strong with Georgia Foreign Trade Conference where the impact of trade relations with China were addressed and the positive way the Georgia was positioned was highlighted by Gov. Brian Kemp “With low unemployment, strong consumer confidence and a new trade deal with China that has already resulted in new poultry exports, Georgia is poised to be a bright spot for the nation in the coming year,” Kemp said. “In 2020, we expect port activity, and the logistics industry in general, to remain a strong economic driver, and an important support network for farms and factories across the state.”
In like a lion out like a lamb
March delivered three Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes to the Port of Savannah bringing its total to 36. (highest number in any single terminal in north America) The cranes will make it possible to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels at the same time by 2023. Due to an increased need for storage options the port added 400,000 TEUs of container capacity.
Mega Rail Milestone
A project that has been in the works for four years accomplished a major milestone in April. The GPA added 9 working tracks! GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch took the time to acknowledge the U.S Maritime Administration and the grant that made it all possible, “On behalf of the Authority, I would like to thank Admiral Mark Buzby at MARAD for his support of our vision for the Mega Rail terminal,” Lynch said. “We are also grateful for the leadership of Gov. Brian Kemp, and to the Georgia Congressional delegation, particularly Sen. David Perdue, former Sen. Johnny Isakson and Congressman Buddy Carter for their unwavering support throughout the grant application process and implementation of this critical project.”
The dredging of the Savanah is a vital project that has continued during the pandemic. There is an extraordinary four dredges are working in tendendum 24/7 and they have reached a new depth of 47 feet. This takes the entire project to approximately 62% complete. The outer harbor has been deepened to 49 feet at low tide. According to Col. Daniel H. Hibner, commander of the Corps’ Savannah Distict “The cooperation we receive from GPA, our dredging contractors, the harbor pilots, the Coast Guard and others demonstrates the dedication this community has for deepening the Savannah harbor.”
The GPA increased its container-handling and berth capacity when two new mobile harbor cranes were received. The cranes have a lift capacity of 125 tons and can move containers or breakbulk cargo. The arrival of the cranes via barge signifies an ability to grow container handling services.
In September, the CMA CGM Brazil sailed into Savannah. This is the largest ship we have hosted so far with a capacity of 15, o72and the arrival was celebrated by the entire city of Savannah include GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “As the largest ship ever to call the East Coast moves 5,600 TEUs on and off the largest single container terminal in North America, it is clear that our efforts to expand capacity and reach are taking hold,”
The challenges of delivering Christmas and keeping toilet paper on the shelves resulted in the busiest December ever. 447,525 TEUs passed through the port for an increase of 24 percent! Rail volumes also grew 16.4 percent and helped to cap a successful year in our rail system.
The businesses surrounding and supporting the port were all a part of fostering the growth and keeping Americans supplied during the pandemic. The entire logistics community should take a moment to be proud of their team and all that they have accomplished. Outsource Logistics rolled into 2020 by rolling out Savannah’s first Semi-Autonomous trucks. We were featured in the Savannah Morning News and on several news stations. (check it out at the following link: https://www.savannahnow.com/photogallery/GA/20200103/BUSINESS/103009992/PH/1) Next month we will feature a look at those trucks and how they have impacted our fleet. March brought obvious challenges, but we took the opportunity to make positive safety changes and found innovative was to overcome the challenges. In April Outsource added 500,000 feet of temperature-controlled space in the Pooler,GA area! In July our new updated website hit the internet, please check us out on Outsourcelogistics.com We had many employees start the path of owner operators and several cross the finish line! We celebrated years of service from one to twenty and we could not be prouder. Kevin Jaynes celebrated 5 years as did David Kugelmann and David Nelome. John Ghee celebrated 10 years and Tony Zeman celebrated 20 years with Outsource Logistics. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication! When Lee Smith, Co-Owner of Outsource Logistics was asked what the key to success for Outsource was he answered, Outsource Logistics Savannah operation has grown in 6 years from 28,000 sq ft to presently 1,440,000 sq ft. Great employees and good customers have allowed Outsource Logistics to continue to grow. The latest addition at Outsource Logistics 1 Knowlton Way Savannah Ga is a pinnacle moment at Outsource. A 785,000 sq ft warehouse. Our entire team is very proud and excited about the future of Outsource Logistics. Our core value is to be good at what we do and to do it well. The future is bright, and we are looking for new members to add to the Outsource Team.” Paul Everett, Co-Owner of Outsource Logistics also expressed gratitude for the team, “The Valdosta and Tifton operations continue to grow at a record pace as well. We added another 240,000 square feet in Valdosta and 90,000 square feet in Tifton to accommodate our customer’s needs. We continue to onboard quality CDL drivers and owner operators to get our customer’s products delivered in a timely manner even in the wake of a tremendous capacity shortage. I am so proud of the teams at all 3 locations! Our growth is an illustration of what happens when you always put the customer’s needs first and provide a quality service.”
In the Wake
Now is the time for the logistics community and our world community to come together and rebuild. The growth here is a light house that we can all strive to reach. The teams that have produced this growth are incredible and will be up to the challenge.