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A special advertising publication of the Savannah Morning News





advertising directory 3PL Worx: 8 Atlantic Fumigation Services, Inc.: 11 Bernard Williams: 8 Biblia, Inc.: 23 Brennan & Co.: 26 C&K Trucking: 10 Cargo Group, LLC: 10 Charles L. Williams: 18 CLG: 34 Colliers International Savannah: 12 Container Port Group: 19 Cordele Intermodal Services: 14 Crescent Towing: 25 DJ Powers Co., Inc.: 32 Dorsey Tire: 38 Downtime Fleet Mgmt.: 35 DSI Logistics: 37 Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union: 32 Georgia Ports Authority: 2, 20-21, 39, 40

Georgia Southern University: 4 Georgia Tech Professional Education: 33 Global Commodities, Inc.: 23 GMS: 16 Howard Sheppard, Inc.: 22 Hunter Maclean: 15 IBT: 18 JIT Warehousing and Logistics: 3 LDH Corporation: 13 Mercer Transportation: 16 Norton Lilly Intl.: 17 Page International: 24 Peeples Industries: 29 Pro Transport, Inc.: 27 Queensborough: 27 Raley & Raley: 34 Savannah Economic Development Authority: 6 Savannah Intl. Trade & Convention Center.: 31 Savannah Marine Terminal: 26

Savannah Pilots: 5 Savannah River Logistics: 30 Savannah Riverboat Cruises: 28 Southeast Industrial Equip.: 36 SSA Cooper: 25 St. Joseph’s/Candler Immediate Care: 30 Stage Front: 29 Terracon: 9 World Distribution Services: 28 ON THE COVER: Container ship OOCL Europe sails outbound at the mouth of the Savannah River from the Georgia Ports Authority Port of Savannah, Tuesday, July, 18, 2017, in Tybee Island, Ga. (GPA Photo/Stephen B. Morton) Advertising: Ashley Jacobsen, 912-652-0238 Editor: Christopher Sweat Commercial Content Mgr. Graphic Designer: Stephanie K. Anderson Savannah Maritime is special advertising publication of the Savannah Morning News. Information included is prepared by the commercial content department or submitted by advertisers. Special thanks to the Georgia Ports Authority.

Photographs: Stephen B. Morton Georgia Ports Authority

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority has on order 10 new ship-to-shore cranes that will dramatically increase vessel loading capacity at Garden City Terminal to 1,300 containers per hour – more than any other single terminal in North America.

GPA achieves record year in FY2017 Six new ship-to-shore cranes approved In Fiscal Year 2017, the GPA moved an all-time high of 3.85 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 6.7 percent, or 242,221 TEUs over the previous year. In the last half of FY2017 alone, the Port of Savannah handled an impressive 1.99 million TEUs, for a growth rate of 11.6 percent over the same period in FY2016. “We could not have achieved this recordbreaking year without the hard work and outstanding dedication of our employees,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our volume growth continues to outpace forecasted demand. Shipping lines are moving 13,000- and 14,000-TEU vessels into service on the East Coast more quickly than antici-


pated, and concentrating their deliveries at efficient gateway ports like Savannah. This new crane purchase, along with the four already on order, will enable GPA to increase crane capacity by nearly 40 percent.” The Georgia Ports Authority capped a record fiscal year with its busiest June ever, moving 337,710 twenty-foot equivalent container units, for growth of 17 percent for the month. In Fiscal Year 2017, the GPA moved 33.4 million tons of cargo across all terminals, another all-time high and an 8.3 percent increase over FY2016. “Phenomenal cargo growth on this scale is made possible by the strong partnership we enjoy with the International Longshoremen’s


Association, the unwavering support of Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly, and the confidence our customers have in Georgia’s ports,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. At its July meeting, the board approved $72.75 million to purchase six more Neopanamax ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will arrive in 2020, and are in addition to a previous order of four cranes that will be operational in June of next year. The combined 10 additional cranes will bring the fleet to 36, able to move more than 1,300 containers per hour across a single dock – a capacity unmatched by any other single terminal in North America.

Savannah serves largest vessel ever to call on East Coast GPA works CMA CGM Roosevelt with seven cranes The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, the largest container ship ever to serve the U.S. East Coast at 14,414 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), called the Port of Savannah Sept. 1. Working the vessel with seven cranes at the 1,200-acre Garden City Terminal, the Port of Savannah is expected to move 4,500 containers (approximately 8,000 TEUs) on and off the ship. The GPA will work six other vessels simultaneous to the Roosevelt. “Not only do these massive ships play to Savannah’s strengths, they actually make us more efficient,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “When neopanamax vessels call on the largest single container terminal in North America, it maximizes the attributes that set Savannah apart: more space, more cranes and better landside connections.” Today, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal features 26 ship-to-shore cranes and 146 rubber-tired gantry cranes. The GPA will add four shipto-shore cranes in 2018 and another six in 2020, to bring the total to 36 cranes operating over nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous berth space. Garden City Terminal is five miles from Interstate 16 and six miles from Interstate 95.


In just three months, the Port of Savannah has hosted 13 vessels with a capacity of 13,000 TEUs or greater. The average number of containers moving on and off these big ships is 8,000 TEUs per vessel. The next 14,000-TEU vessel, the CMA CGM John Adams, will arrive in Savannah on Sept. 7. “In Fiscal Year 2017, which ended June 30, the Port of Savannah served 69 vessels with a capacity of 10,000 TEUs or more,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “No other port on the East Coast has served more vessels, more often with more on-terminal assets than the Garden City Terminal.” The Roosevelt is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and U.S. East Coast ports via the Panama Canal. The SAX service includes 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs.


Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton

The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt enters the mouth of the Savannah River Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. The 14,000-TEU vessel is the largest to ever call on the Port of Savannah.

Kuzma joins GPA Trade Development office New senior director brings rail, commodities experience Bruce A. Kuzma recently joined the Georgia Ports Authority Trade Development office. Kuzma most recently served as director of chemicals marketing for CSX Transportation. In his new position as senior director of Trade Development for ocean carrier and non-container sales, he will guide client development and sales functions – including sales planning, sales administration, tariff structure, and associated service functions to be provided in addition to the sales efforts.

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“We’re thrilled to be adding a person of Bruce’s caliber to our team,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “His executive experience, record of accomplishment, and commitment to this industry will make an excellent complement to Georgia’s ports.” Over the last 25 years, Kuzma has held a variety of commercial positions in the rail industry. Starting at Burlington Northern Railroad in 1992, he held positions in logistics management, industrial development, and chemical sales.

In 1996, he joined CSX Transportation, spending time in agricultural, chemicals, metals, minerals, and paper and forest products sales and marketing. His time at CSX also included four years managing the rail provider’s International Sales and Marketing team, which focused on developing and managing relationships with port authorities, ocean carriers, port facility operators and beneficial cargo owners in Europe, South America and Asia. “It is an exciting time to join the Georgia Ports Authority, with so many market opportunities and infrastructure improvements taking effect,” Kuzma said. “Between Savannah’s harbor deepening, a major rail expansion and the global realignment of ocean carriers, Georgia’s deepwater ports are poised to capture greater market share and win new business for the state’s economy.” Kuzma has a B.S. in Economics and Statistics from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Marketing & Logistics from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. He will report to GPA Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron. “Bruce’s knowledge of logistics, and his skills in management and relationship-building will be important assets in his new position,” Pyron said. “In addition to maintaining highlevel contacts with steamship lines and coordinating activities with our domestic and foreign offices, Bruce joins the GPA at a time when rail cargo is playing an ever-greater role in

our business expansion. His experience in that arena will be beneficial.” The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal has begun engineering on a $128 million rail expansion project – funded in part by a $44 million FASTLANE Grant administered by the Maritime Administration. Set for completion in 2020, the expansion will double the terminal’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year. Greater unit train capacity on terminal will build density into the system, and enable faster, more frequent rail service to markets across the American Midwest. Find print-quality images of port operations here. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015. For more information, visit, or contact GPA Senior Director of Corporate Communications Robert Morris at (912) 9643855 or

Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton

A 25-year veteran of the logistics industry, Bruce Kuzma will now serve as the Georgia Ports Authority’s senior director of Trade Development for ocean carrier and non-container sales.

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SHEP, infrastructure improvements to accommodate new business The deepening of the Savannah River channel officially got under way in September 2015. At present, the portion of the project that will deepen the outer harbor to 49 feet at low tide (56 feet at high tide) is 60 percent complete. Deepening the inner harbor to 47 feet (54 feet at high tide) will be covered under a separate contract. The entire project is expected to be finished by late 2021. Completion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) is critically important to the global competitiveness of American shippers and the people they employ. A deeper river will allow 14,000 twentyfoot equivalent container unit vessels to call the Port of

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Savannah with greater scheduling flexibility. These massive vessels provide lower container slot prices, reducing the cost of importing and exporting goods. At its July meeting, the GPA board approved $72.75 million to purchase six more Neopanamax ship-to-shore cranes. The new machines will arrive in 2020, and are in addition to a previous order of four cranes that will be operational in June of next year. The combined 10 additional cranes will bring the fleet to 36, able to move more than 1,300 containers per hour across a single dock – a capacity unmatched by any other single terminal in the Western Hemisphere. During FY2017, the GPA

completed a six-acre extension of our dockside container yard, adding storage space for 2,850 TEUs. The GPA also broke ground in December on the Appalachian Regional Port in Northwest Georgia. The Authority estimates the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 50,000 moves annually, and expand GPA’s target market in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Additionally, the GPA has started the design phase of its “Mega-Rail” facility, which will double Garden City Terminal’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year, and better accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains. Greater capacity will enable expanded

rail service to the American Midwest. In FY2016, the GPA opened a new, eight-lane truck gate at Garden City Terminal, increasing lane capacity by 20 percent. An adjacent 30-acre container field was completed to significantly expand capacity on terminal. The additional container space provides storage for more than 14,770 twenty-foot equivalent container units. It contributes to a storage expansion of nearly 25,000 TEUs since FY2013. Over the previous two years, the GPA added 30 container-handling rubbertired gantry cranes, for a fleet of 146.

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A&R Logistics bringing resin exports to Savannah A&R Logistics, based in Louisville, KY, will open Savannah’s first export facility for plastic resins by the end of the year. The project will establish a transportation and plastics packaging facility at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal to handle the anticipated significant increase in export plastic resins. “Our collaboration with A&R is an incubation program to grow a business sector that offers major opportunities for Georgia’s ports,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. Resin pellets, a byproduct of oil and natural gas refining,

are used in the manufacture of plastic products. According to data analysts at Petrochemical Update, four refineries totaling more than 5 million tons per year of resin capacity will start operations this year along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Another five new refineries are expected to go into operation before the end of 2019. Together, the nine projects will bring 10.3 million metric tons of additional resin capacity into the U.S. market. Every million metric tons

of resins results in 40,000 forty-foot containers of cargo. The new production capacity is expected to grow the current yearly export volume from 200,000 containers per year to approximately 600,000. “Approximately $50 billion is expected to be invested in the U.S. over the next 10 years by the plastics industry to expand production capacity,” said Dan Jaworski, senior vice president for sales and marketing at A&R. “We are very pleased to partner with Geor-

gia Ports Authority, one of the largest ports in the country, to offer an immediate solution to the shipper community. This facility is expected to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Resin pellets, a byproduct of oil and natural gas refining, are used in the manufacture of plastic products.

GPA Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron said the Port of Savannah is perfectly situated to take on the additional trade. “With the most shipping services on the U.S. East Coast at 35 weekly calls, the Port of Savannah provides superior carrier capacity and greater scheduling flexibility,” Pyron said. “Also, because of Georgia’s balanced import and export trade, manufacturers find better availability of empty export containers in Savannah.” The Savannah market also offers off-terminal sites for handling resin exports that are rail-served, close to Interstates 95 and 16, and within minutes of Garden City Terminal. On 2,000 acres contributed by the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority,

another company, OmniTRAX, is investing in roadway, rail spur, and switching yard infrastructure around which developers will build what is anticipated to be unmatched resin packaging and shipping capacity. The site offers access to two Class I railroads, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. At Morgan Lakes Industrial Park in Pooler, properties are served by short-line railroad Genesee & Wyoming, which provides access to both Norfolk Southern and CSX. Another likely site for handling resins is at CenterPoint Intermodal Center, located just four miles from the main gate of the Port of Savannah on Highway 307, and within minutes of I-95 and I-16. CenterPoint is served by Norfolk Southern.

About A&R Logistics Headquartered in Louisville, KY, A&R Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of dry-bulk transportation, packaging, distribution and logistics solutions to numerous multinational companies within the chemical and plastic industries. A&R provides a comprehensive suite of services including over-the-road transportation, trans-loading, packaging, warehousing and end-to-end outsourced transportation management through a nationwide network of 28 facilities, a combination of company-owned equipment and owner operators and a non-asset based transportation management division. For more information on A&R Logistics, Inc. please visit

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Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

Panama Canal sending more business for Savannah

Where once 2,000 container moves per ship was a highvolume exchange for Savannah, it is now common for the port to handle 4,000 to 5,000 container moves per vessel.

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With the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, shipping lines are taking advantage of the improved route, and the Port of Savannah is moving more cargo than ever before. Savannah’s containerized trade increased by 9.7 percent during first quarter of Calendar Year 2017. In fact, Savannah is the third fastest growing major port in the world, achieving a 7 percent rate of growth over 10 years — more than double the next fastest growing port. With the opening of the canal’s wider locks, the Port of Savannah is receiving larger vessels and completing larger cargo exchanges, even on the now “mid-sized” vessels in the 8,000- and 9,000-TEU range.

Since June 2016, the average size of the vessels calling on the Port of Savannah has increased by nearly 20 percent. The largest vessel to call Savannah a year ago was a 10,000-TEU vessel, but in only May of this year, the COSCO Development was the first 13,000-TEU vessel, and in August, we served the CMA CGM T. Roosevelt, our first 14,000TEU vessel.

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Port plan to reduce Garden City train crossings At a public meeting this spring, representatives from Garden City, Chatham County and the Georgia Ports Authority discussed a proposal that would greatly reduce the use of rail crossings around Garden City Terminal, while increasing capacity and jobs for the local community.

The meeting focused on installation of an overpass at State Route 25. The road improvement will take vehicular traffic over planned new rail lines and Pipemakers Canal. It is proposed in conjunction with an on-terminal project that will double GPA’s rail capacity to 1 million containers per year. The new port infrastructure will remove the need to stop trains off terminal to switch rail cars, an activity which has impacted traffic on commuter routes. “While this project is important to the port’s business, it will greatly improve the safety

and flow of traffic on major thoroughfares like Highway 21 and Main Street in Garden City,” said Mayor Don Bethune. “Moving rail switching onto Garden City Terminal will drastically reduce rail-related traffic delays for commuters and local residents.” The changes are part of a rail expansion that will enable the GPA to better accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains and double rail capacity without increasing truck traffic. “Not only will this new infrastructure reduce the impact of rail cargo movements in our community, it will also help us continued on page 22

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GPA grows breakbulk business at Ocean Terminal

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

“Expanding rail capacity and service for our customers enhances our ability to support global competitiveness for American businesses, while also improving quality of life for our neighbors in Garden City,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “The project is truly a win-win situation for commerce and the community.”

to alleviate future truck traffic as more of our containers move by rail,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our area will also see economic benefits, as additional intermodal capacity will create new employment opportunities on terminal and throughout the local logistics and supply chain.” The project, dubbed the Savannah International MultiModal Connector, will build density into the system, and enable rail providers CSX and Norfolk Southern to deliver faster, more frequent rail service to markets ranging from

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Memphis to Chicago and the Ohio Valley. Currently, 19 percent of containerized cargo moves by rail at the Port of Savannah. The expansion is geared in part toward increasing the share of cargo that moves by rail at Garden City Terminal. The development will be partially funded by a $44 million federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) grant, with the remaining $84 million covered by the GPA, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad, and Chatham County. The projected completion date is in 2021.

In Fiscal Year 2017, the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal completed more than 225 lifts of 100,000 pounds or more. Breakbulk at Ocean Terminal, of which project cargo is a part, grew by 4 percent in FY2017 to a total of 1.22 million tons. While this figure is a portion of the 33 million-ton total for all cargo moved via GPA terminals in FY17, project cargo plays an important role of GPA’s mission to support manufacturing and economic development.

The 200-acre Ocean Terminal features dedicated teams for project cargo who are experienced in the special requirements for high and heavy moves. To help facilitate superheavy cargo moves, Ocean Terminal is equipped with one of the most powerful bargebased cranes in the Southeast. Dubbed the Savannah Giant, the heavy lift barge crane can handle cargo up to 500 short tons (453 metric tons). The Savannah Giant can move oversized cargo from vessels at Ocean Terminal directly onto rail or heavy haul truck. The barge crane is operated by Savannah Heavy Lift, LLC, which is based on-terminal and is a partnership between Savannah Heavy Lift, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, and the GPA. The GPA also employs a 100-ton gantry crane at Ocean Terminal. These cranes, along with local vendors, allow the GPA to move any size project that may come this way. In 2016, the terminal handled a 300-ton plus transformer destined for a local power plant. The transformer along with the 16-axle

railcar weighed more than a million pounds. It was the second heaviest lift ever at Ocean Terminal. In addition to the ability to offload cargo straight to truck or on-dock rail, Ocean Terminal offers flexible gate hours for easier scheduling. Ocean Terminal is served in Savannah by Class I railroads CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, with on-terminal switching provided by NS.

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The terminal’s five berths are 42 feet deep. Four of the five berths feature on-dock rail. Cargo moving by truck can reach the interstate less than 2 miles from the terminal. The main drivers for project cargo demand at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal are the automobile and energy industries, including cargoes such as stamping machines, transformers, turbines and generators.

Savannah’s Advantages

GPA predicts incremental growth The Georgia Ports Authority predicts incremental growth in container volumes of approximately 5 percent per year. This growth is driven in part by the rising population of the U.S. Southeast – the fastest growing region in the nation. This population increase is driving demand for goods that is best served through the Port of Savannah.

Infrastructure investments such as the addition of 10 ship-to-shore cranes (bringing Savannah’s fleet to 36 by 2020) and a planned doubling of rail capacity to 1 million lifts per year will accommodate this growth and act as a lure to more business as the GPA continues to provide world-class port services.

As the largest single container terminal in all of North America, Garden City Terminal’s 1,200acre complex is a model of efficiency, capacity and cost savings. With 146 rubber-tired gantry cranes and nearly 10,000 contiguous feet of berth space, Savannah’s container port is perfectly suited to service the larger vessels and greater number of containers moving on and off ships today. Offering nearly two miles of dock space and nine vessel berths, the terminal’s size, scope and flexibility benefit shipping lines and cargo owners. As of the April 1 realignment of the major shipping lines into three alliances, the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal now hosts 35 weekly container services, the most of any port on the U.S. East or Gulf coasts. Ten of those services call the Port of Savannah first on the

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U.S. East Coast, another 12 call Savannah last. These positions in the delivery schedule are when vessels deliver and take on their largest exchanges. The Port of Savannah is centrally located to serve the U.S. Southeast – the nation’s fastest growing demographic region. As cargo demands parallel the population growth of this region, efficient access to trade via Georgia’s ports will become even more vital. At the GPA, we are committed to our longtime investment philosophy of maintaining terminal capacity at least 20 percent over current demand. This strategy has allowed Georgia’s ports to maintain world-class customer service, even during surges in cargo volumes. With room to grow and an infrastructure plan to increase annual container capacity, Savannah is well positioned to take advantage of new market opportunities.

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Chilled cargo provides cool new opportunities Since September 2014, the GPA has participated in a USDA program in which cold-treated produce from South America can reach U.S. markets through additional ports of entry. The USDA program allows for the importation of coldtreated citrus fruits, grapes, blueberries, apples and pears from Peru, Uruguay and Argentina. GPA is working with USDA and USCBP to expand the number of commodities and countries that can use Savannah as a port of entry. For importers, landing product closer to the consumer market reduces transit time, creating a much more efficient supply chain and reducing overall cost. On-terminal inspection offices for U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture speed the inspection process for chilled cargo. Through reliable operations, and efficient and timely inspections of perishable products, GPA is establishing Savannah as the gateway to

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the U.S. Southeast for perishable cargo. Savannah already has a strong, established outbound refrigerated market. Loaded inbound refrigerated boxes reduce repositioning costs, delivering savings to our ocean carriers, importers and exporters. In August, South Korea lifted a ban on American poultry related to the avian bird flu, after the U.S. notified the World Organization for Animal Health that it is now free of the virus. Because the notification removed justification for U.S. trading partners to ban U.S. poultry imports, other important markets such as China should soon reopen to American producers. This will increase demand for refrigerated containers in Savannah, the leading exporter of U.S. frozen poultry.

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

A worker moves cargo in the cold storage facility at Nordic Logistics and Warehousing. The 200,000 square-foot facility handles both refrigerated and frozen cargo.

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On-Terminal Infrastructure Over the years, the GPA has invested steadily in refrigerated container racks, in keeping with an overall philosophy of maintaining infrastructure at least 20 percent above current demand. At present, the Port of Savannah features 104 electricpowered refrigerated container racks, which accommodate 2,496 containers at a time. Counting 600 chassis plug-ins, Savannah’s total capacity is 3,096 refrigerated boxes. This has helped Savannah become the busiest import-export terminal in the Southeast for refrigerated containers.

Major Savannah-area cold storage facilities include: ■ Frozen ■ Gulf

States Cold Storage: 155,000 square feet

■ Lineage ■ AGRO

Logistics: 345,000 sf

Merchants: 400,000 sf

■ Chilled ■ Portfresh

Logistics: 100,000 sf Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

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GPA replaces tree lost in Hurricane Matthew

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In honor of national Arbor Day, the Georgia Ports Authority held a special tree-planting ceremony at Garden City Terminal to replace a historic oak lost during Hurricane Matthew. “As we improve our operations and upgrade facilities, we take every step we can to preserve Georgia’s historic, majestic trees,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The 10-year-old live oak sapling we’re planting today is a small example of how the GPA provides for our natural resources today and into the future.” On the 1,200-acre Garden City Terminal, the GPA protects and preserves habitats from wetlands to old growth oak trees, as part of its commitment to conduct port operations in an environmentally responsible manner. The sapling planted Friday joins a grove of about a dozen trees that are more than 200

years old adjacent to Highway 25. The oldest oaks at the port facility date to the mid-1600s. Local arborist Shannon Baughman applauded the GPA’s sustainability effort protecting trees. “Maintaining these oldgrowth trees at a working port shows that it is possible for industry and the natural environment to coexist,” Baughman said. “The shade these trees provide, the oxygen they produce and the carbon sequestered in their massive trunks provide long-term benefits to the area. It’s exciting that the Georgia Ports Authority recognizes their value.” The GPA has a long track record of sustainable practices. The Authority currently preserves 300 acres of natural wetlands in Brunswick, and has established 14 acres of wetlands at the Port of Savannah for its natural filtering capa-

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

bility, in order to protect the Savannah River. Additionally, GPA is a longtime supporter of the Caretta Research Project, which protects sea turtle hatchlings. The GPA has transitioned its ship-to-shore cranes from diesel to electric power to reduce its carbon footprint,

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and in 2016, received the EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for its electric rubber-tired gantry crane program. The eRTG program will transfer GPA’s rubber-tired gantry crane fleet – used to handle containers on terminal – to electric power. This will virtually eliminate diesel fuel

maritime bethel at savannah

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority

usage for these machines and reduce the terminal’s diesel emissions. High-tech lighting controls and container yard light fixtures reduce light pollution and cut energy consumption by 60 percent.

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“Operating Georgia’s deepwater ports sustainably is an integral part of our mission,” Lynch said. “In every business decision, the Authority balances continued economic growth with being good stewards of precious natural resources.”

This logo features the statue of The Waving Girl, which can be seen at the eastern end of River Street. Florence Martus (1868 - 1943) developed a close affinity with the passing ships and, accompanied by her devoted collie dog, welcomed each one with a wave of her handkerchief or lantern for 44 years. It is estimated that she welcomed more than 50,000 ships during her lifetime just as the Maritime Bethel at Savannah aims to welcome seafarers to our city today.

The Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS) provides ‘far away from home’ personal and practical support to seafarers who come into Georgia ports on big ships from all over the world. This is a faith based nonprofit organization that includes advocacy, spiritual, physical and emotional support available to anyone, no matter their faith, creed, culture or nationality. The Savannah Bethel facility is in Garden City, just outside the gates of the huge container terminal, and the MBS aims to provide a sanctuary in its five-acre park-like setting. What is vital to seafarers is that they are offered free internet and international telephone lines as well as the opportunity to just relax, shower, do laundry or enjoy time away from their daily reality. Many seafarers are only in Savannah for six to twelve hours. Having only seen water and industrial ports with no natural beauty for weeks on end, they are keen to get their feet onto solid ground and get away from the port. Naturally, being away from home and loved ones for months at a time with no af-

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fordable phone or internet connection service when at sea, means that most seafarers are desperate to connect with family and friends by email and phone. Often seafarers want someone to listen to them, counsel them and pray with them and this is also part of the organization’s mission. Importantly to the seafarers MBS vans meet them off the ships and take them shopping, to the Bethel or, for example, to doctor appointments. MBS volunteers are available at any hour of the day or night to transport and escort non T.W.I.C. (Transportation Workers Identification Credentials) holding international seafarers in special MBS vans to where they need to go. All these services are free to seafarers and depend on volunteers and donations – the port and government do not fund the MBS. Research indicates an estimated 78,000 international seafarers arrive annually into Savannah. The organization expects to serve nearly 4,000 ships and well over 80,000 seafarers by the end of this year. For more information, or to donate or volunteer visit

New Developments Position Savannah as U.S. Gateway Port Announcement comes on the heels of three consecutive months of record growth

growing need to service a larger range of customers from the Southeast to the Midwest U.S.. January was the third month in a row of record performances at the Savannah container port, with the Authority moving 331,190 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an improvement of 16.1 percent (45,889 TEUs). The GPA reported for the month of November a 5.8 percent increase in container traffic, reaching 300,671 TEUs. In December, the Port of Savannah handled 292,172 TEUs, a 12.3 percent increase over December 2015. “The expansion we’re seeing in our container volumes constitutes a strong vote of confidence from our new and longtime port customers,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Keeping ahead of demand requires infrastructure development in both the public and private sector. The new facilities destined for our trade park are part of that equation. The GPA is also making the on-terminal improvements necessary to stay ahead of demand.” Other efforts to increase capacity include: ■A

rail expansion project at Garden City Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year. A part of GPA’s Mid-American Arc initiative, the expansion will better accommodate 10,000-foot long unit trains. This $128 million project will make routes running deeper into the American Midwest more attractive to rail providers by making more efficient use of rail infrastructure. The Mid-American Arc enhances global trade options for manufacturers in cities such as St. Louis and Chicago – potential customers who might not have considered Savannah

In February, the Georgia Ports Authority announced the sale of 500 acres of property for commercial development to accommodate growing customer demand for warehousing, distribution and transload facilities near the Port of Savannah. The new development, located on five parcels of land at GPA’s Savannah River International Trade Park, is less than five miles from the Garden City Container Terminal and can

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accommodate up to 5 million square feet of logistics space. “This announcement will help further establish Savannah as a gateway port for the U.S. Southeast and beyond,” said Executive Director Griff Lynch. “With an increased demand for reliable, cost-effective logistics opportunities, this development is another example of GPA’s focus on supply chain solutions for our customers.” The project is just one mile from I-95 and will help fill a

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previously, despite rail distances comparable to ports in the Northeast. Partially funded by a $44 million federal grant, the project will be complete in 2021. ■ In

2016, GPA added: ■ Four

New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes (for a total of 26 cranes) and 20 rubber-tired gantry cranes (total, 146).


new 30-acre empty container yard and an eight-lane truck gate.


six-acre extension of our dockside container yard, adding storage space for 2,850 TEUs directly behind Berth 9 at Garden City Terminal.

■ As

part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s major initiative to improve and expand surface transportation across Georgia, the state opened the Jimmy DeLoach Connector in 2016, providing direct truck access between Garden City Terminal and Interstate 95. The connector cuts 11 minutes from the drive time between the port and the interstate.

■ In

December, the GPA broke ground on its new inland terminal in Northwest Georgia – the Appalachian Regional Port. GPA estimates the CSX rail route will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 50,000 moves annually, and expand GPA’s target market in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

■ At

the Port of Brunswick, more than 200 acres are in the design or development stages, adding more space for auto processing at Colonel’s Island Terminal.

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2017 Maritime Special Section  
2017 Maritime Special Section