The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reported this week the Port of Savannah had achieved its busiest April on record and its second-busiest month ever. The busiest occurred just one month earlier.

The Port of Savannah handled 466,633 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, a 38% increase — or about 128,700 TEUs — year-over-year. The record-setting March total was 498,000 TEUs.

“Demand for products and services both domestically and abroad is driving significant gains in Georgia’s cargo volumes. The supply chain continues to experience unprecedented increases due to the reopening of the local, regional and national economies,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch in the April volume announcement. 

The GPA said the rate of growth in rail lifts at the Garden City Terminal slightly outpaced overall container growth, increasing 39%, or 13,500 lifts, for a total of 48,000 twenty- and forty-foot containers. 

To handle its expanding rail trade, the GPA will complete its Mason Mega Rail Terminal this year, doubling the annual rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs. According to the GPA, it will be the largest on-terminal rail facility for a port in North America. 

Roll-on/roll-off cargo was up 50%, or 21,200 vehicles, year-over-year in April at the Port of Brunswick, where the Colonel’s Island Terminal moved 63,440 cars, trucks and pieces of heavy machinery. For the fiscal year from July 1 through April 30, the terminal handled 570,260, a 10% year-over-year increase. 

The GPA this week elected officers for the coming fiscal year. Joel Wooten will serve as chairman, Kent Fountain as vice chairman and Alec Poitevint as secretary-treasurer.

Wooten, a founding member of the law firm of Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, has served on the board for eight years and currently is the vice chairman. Fountain, the president and CEO of Southeastern Gin & Peanut Inc., is advancing from secretary-treasurer. Poitevint, the president and chairman of Southeastern Minerals, has been serving as a board member. 

The GPA said that during outgoing Chairman Will McKnight’s two years at the helm, annual container trade increased from 4.4 million TEUs in fiscal year 2020 to an expected 5.2 million TEUs in the current fiscal year ending June 30. 

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