The Georgia Ports Authority is responsible for regulating and managing the State's two inland ports and two deep-water seaports, including the Port of Savannah. The port authority facilitates global trade by operating modern terminals and serving the needs of international business. The Georgia Ports Authority is tasked with developing, maintaining, and operating the State's inland river and ocean ports; fostering international trade and new industries; promoting Georgia's natural, agricultural, and industrial resources; and maintaining the environment.
Established in 1945 by act of the Georgia legislature, the ports authority's headquarters are located in the Port of Savannah, Georgia's flagship port, which handles most of the State's ocean-going trade. The other seaport is the Port of Brunswick, and the two inland river ports are Port Bainbridge and Port Columbus. In 2007, the port authority bought 175 acres of land to develop future terminals on Hutchinson Island.
In 2011, the Port of Savannah handled over 26.1 million tons of cargo, including more than 22.2 million tons of containerized cargo in almost 3.0 million TEUs. Of the 2.9 million TEUs handled by the Port of Savannah in 2011, 1.6 million TEUs were exports and 1.3 million were imports. The Port of Savannah also handled nearly 1.6 million tons of bulk cargo and over 2.3 million tons of breakbulk cargo. Two major terminals serve the Port of Savannah. The Port of Savannah hosted a total of 2371 vessels in 2011, with 2091 vessels visiting the Garden City Terminal and 280 vessels going to the Ocean Terminal.
The 2.9 million TEUs handled by the Port of Savannah in 2011 included almost 2.3 million full TEUs, including 1.1 million TEUs of imports and 1.2 million TEUs of exports. Within this number, miscellaneous cargoes in the Port of Savannah accounted for 429.7 thousand TEUs. Other leading cargoes included food (229.1 thousand TEUs); retail consumer goods (201.8 thousand TEUs); machinery, appliances, and electronics (197.8 thousand TEUs); automotive goods (170.7 thousand TEUs); and wood pulp (165.4 thousand TEUs). The Port of Savannah also handled containerized cargoes of furniture; paper and paperboard; chemicals, and hardware and housewares.
"Other" containerized cargoes of 212.8 thousand TEUs dominated imports arriving at the Port of Savannah. The other major import cargoes included furniture (146.6 thousand TEUs); retail consumer goods (135.3 thousand TEUs); machinery, appliances, and electronics (115.7 thousand TEUs); and hardware and housewares (102.3 thousand TEUs). The Port of Savannah handled more than 1.2 million tons of exported containerized cargoes. In addition to "other" exported cargoes (216.9 thousand TEUs), the Port of Savannah handled exports of wood pulp (165.4 thousand TEUs), food (152.0 thousand TEUs), and paper and paperboard (145.4 thousand TEUs). Other containerized exports in the Port of Savannah in 2011 included clay; machinery, appliances, and electronics; automotive cargoes, chemicals, retail consumer goods, fabrics including raw cotton, and resins and rubber.
The Port of Savannah specializes in handling containers, reefer, breakbulk, and roll-on/roll-off cargoes. The Garden City Terminal is the Port of Savannah's state-of-the-art container terminal. The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is the largest in the North America. The Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah handles both breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargoes that include forest and wood products, automotive and heavy equipment, steel, heavy-lift cargoes, and project shipments.
The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is an ultra-modern dedicated container terminal covering 486 hectares. The Georgia Ports Authority owns and operates the Garden City Terminal, which makes the Port of Savannah the United States' fourth biggest container port. This Port of Savannah terminal offers immediate access to both rail and highway and has ample space for future development.
The channel leading to the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is 152.4 meters (500 feet) wide and 12.8 meters (42 feet) deep at mean low tide, with plans to dredge the channel to 14.6 meters (48 feet) in the future. Tidal range in the Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah is about 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). The King's Island Turning Basin covers 22.3 hectares, with dimensions of 457.2 by 487.7 meters (1500 by 1600 feet). Vertical bridge clearance is 56.4 meters (185 feet) at high tide.
The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal contains nine container berths with total berthing distance of 2955 meters (9693 feet). Berths 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 have alongside depth of 12.8 meters (42 feet) MLW. Berths 2, 3, 8, and 9 have alongside depth of 14.6 meters (47.9 feet) MLW. The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal also has two berths for liquid bulk cargoes, each of which has 183 meters (600 feet) of berthing space.
The Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah contains over 11 hectares of warehouse space, has a total of 1030 meters (3378 feet) of rail siding for warehouses, and 852 reefer plugs. Warehouses 83-A and 83-B each cover an area of 3.7 hectares and each is served by 427 meters (1400 feet) of rail siding. The Port of Savannah's Container Freight Station 1 covers two acres, and Container Freight Station 2 covers 2.4 acres, while the cold storage facility offers 1.6 acres. Warehouse 27, the US Customs & Border Protection warehouse, covers three acres and has 176 meters (578 meters) of rail siding. In addition to warehouse space the Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah has a total of 175 hectares of paved area in nine container yards. The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal has a rapid dispatch facility that covers five hectares and a container field and rapid dispatch facility covering 180.3 hectares.
The Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah has a total of 37 interchange lanes with 25 pre-check lanes at three gates. Gate 3 has 14 lanes with ten pre-check lanes. The two-lane entry portal is equipped with OCR-Smart Cameras and RF-Reading Equipment that capture data from arriving trucks. Gate 4 has 17 lanes with 13 pre-check lanes. The six-lane entry portal is also equipped with OCR-Smart Cameras and RF-Reading Equipment. Gate 6 has six lanes with two pre-check lanes, and it is equipped with data-capturing equipment. The Port of Savannah's Gates 3 and 4 have 60-ton truck scales with over-height sensing devices and fully integrated communications used for rapid cargo movements.
The Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah has 11 post-Panamax container cranes, five have vessel reach capacity for 16 containers and six vessel reach capacity for 18 containers. The Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah also has two super post-Panamax container cranes with vessel reach capacity for 22 containers. Five of the post-Panamax container cranes in the Port of Savannah have lift capacity for 48.1 metric tons, and six have lift capacity for 71 metric tons. The two super post-Panamax container cranes have lift capacity for 71 metric tons.
The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is also equipped with 71 45- to 56-ton rubber tyred gantries, 24 40-ton five-high loaded toplifts, six 33.7-ton four-high loaded top lifts, 16 9-ton seven-high empty stackers, and 48 5.5-ton forklifts. The Port of Savannah is in the process of acquiring 25 new rubber tyred gantry cranes. The Garden City Terminal has 791 wheeled plugs and 1056 rack plugs for reefer containers.
Over the next decade, the Port of Savannah is investing in expansions that will meet anticipated growth in ocean-going trade worldwide. The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal will add 25 cranes and 86 rubber tyred gantry cranes over the next ten years. It will also increase the depth from 12.8 to 14.6 meters (42 to 48 feet) of the Savannah River Navigation Channel that approaches the Ocean City Terminal in the Port of Savannah. These projects, added to other projects in the port authority's long-term plan for the Port of Savannah, will increase Garden City Terminal capacity from today's 2.6 million TEUs to six million TEUs in 2018 in the Port of Savannah.
After much competition, the States of Georgia and South Carolina reached an agreement in 2007 to jointly develop and oversee operations at a new deep-water container terminal to be located on the banks of the Savannah River. Known as the Jasper Ocean Terminal, the project is expected to triple container traffic at the United States' East Coast by the year 2020. The new joint Port of Savannah-Port of Charleston terminal will facilitate the export of valuable agricultural products and industrial equipment. Completion of the 2014 Panama Canal expansion will reduce shipping costs between the Southeast and Asia by some 20%, making the Port of Savannah more competitive and attracting greater cargo traffic.
The new Jasper Ocean Terminal will be constructed on recovered dredged materials along the Georgia-South Carolina border some ten miles downstream from the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal. The terminal will be based on state-of-the-art green technology and will be able to accommodate new generations of cargo vessels (ships to 12.6 thousand TEUs) that need a minimum 48.2-meter (158-foot) width and a depth of 15.2 meters (50 feet). The new Jasper Ocean Terminal will have infrastructure of over 600 hectares, and it will have ten berths with road and rail access.
Owned and operated by the Georgia Ports Authority, the Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal is a secure facility dedicated to breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargoes. Covering an area of 81 hectares, the Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah contains ten berths with 2034 meters of deep-water berths, 139.4 thousand square meters of covered storage, and 34 hectares of open storage. The Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah has immediate access to rail and highway networks.
The Port of Savannah's access channel to the Ocean Terminal is 152.4 meters (500 feet) wide and 12.8 meters (42 feet) deep at mean low water (with plans to extend depth to 14.6 meters or 48 feet). The Marsh Island turning basin in the Port of Savannah covers 1.9 acres with dimensions of 274.3 by 304.8 meters (900 by 1000 feet). The King's Island Turning Basin, with dimensions of 457.2 meters by 487.7 meters (1500 by 1600 feet), covers 22.3 hectares. Vertical bridge clearance is 56.4 meters (185 feet) at high tide. The Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah handles breakbulk, roll-on/roll-off cargoes, containers, and heavy-lift and project cargoes.
The berths and slips at the Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal are a total of 1758 meters (5768 feet) long. With a total length of 1030 meters (313.9 feet), Berths 1, 2, 12, 13, and 18 have alongside depth of 12.8 meters (42 feet). Berths and slips range from 297 to 755 meters long. The Ocean Terminal contains a total of 132.6 thousand square meters of transit sheds and warehouses and over 3.3 thousand meters of rail siding. All sheds and warehouses at the Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah are served by alongside rail and truck docks.
The Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal has a total of 13.3 hectares of covered storage space in three warehouses and 11 sheds with a total of 3385 meters (36.4 thousand feet) of rail siding. Warehouses 1 through 3 cover a total of 5.5 hectares and are served by a total 1155 meters (12.4 thousand feet) of rail siding. Sheds 1, 2, 11, 12, 14 through 19, and K cover a total 7.8 hectares with a total of 2199 meters (23.7 thousand feet) of rail siding. The Ocean Terminal at the Port of Savannah has 29.5 hectares of open storage for roll-on/roll-off, breakbulk, and containerized cargoes. It also has a dedicated roll-on/roll-off facility that contains two paved areas totaling 7.7 hectares and a paved container field covering 19 hectares.
The Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal has one 175-ton and one 100-ton gantry crane and a 45-ton container crane. It is also equipped with a 45-ton over-height container crane attachment, one 28.7-ton five-high loaded toplift, two 28.7-ton four-high loaded toplifts, and 32 forklifts with capacity for from six to 27.5 tons. Ocean Terminal's Warehouse 2 in the Port of Savannah also has 60 reefer outlets.
The Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal is constantly expanding and improving to meet the demands of the market. Plans are in place to further develop the site and enhance the services offered. The Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah has ample land area to accommodate growth.
The Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal has plenty of space for processing and storing roll-on/roll-off cargoes and for accommodating the ever-increasing size of cargo ships. The Port of Savannah is planning to deepen the entry channel to the Ocean Terminal from 12.8 to 14.6 meters (42 to 48 feet) by 2014.
There are two intermodal container transfer facilities (ICTF) in the Port of Savannah's Ocean City Terminal. The Mason ICTF covers 65 hectares and is served by a total of 3810 meters (15 thousand feet) in six working rail tracks and 2286 meters (7500 feet) in three storage rail tracks. The Chatham ICTF in the Port of Savannah's Ocean City Terminal covers a total area of 7.3 hectares. It has a total of 1833 meters (6015 feet) in three working rail tracks and a 3781-meter (12,406-foot) storage track.
The Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah is in a strategic position to offer reliable and efficient intermodal access to markets throughout the Midwest and Southeast United States. The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal is served by two Class I rail services: the Norfolk Southern Railroad and CSX Transportation. The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility offers unrestricted double-stack service with two- and three-day delivery times on cargoes going to major markets in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, and Midwest and overnight service to Atlanta. The Garden City Terminal has immediate access to two major Interstate highways (I-95 north-south and I-16 east-west) in the Port of Savannah.
The Port of Savannah's Ocean Terminal has convenient access to several Interstate highways (I-16 east-west, I-95 north-south, and I-516. The Norfolk Southern Railroad provides on-site switching services, and line-haul services are provided to the Ocean Terminal in the Port of Savannah by Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.