Savannah GA is a major cargo port in Georgia USA, as well as state's oldest city. Founded in 1733 on Savannah River, the city became the British colonial capital of Georgia Province. By population (around 150,000 (metro around 385,000), ranking it the state's 5th-largest city and 3rd-largest metro area.
Savannah GA was a strategic seaport during the American Revolution (1765-1783) and the American Civil War (1861-1865). The city covers an area of approx 282 km2 (109 ml2), of which 267 km2 (103 ml2) land and 15 km2 (6 ml2) water (or around 5%).
An industrial center and a major Atlantic seaport, the city attracts each year millions of tourists with its parks, cobblestone streets and notable historic buildings. Among the most popular tourist sites are Georgia Historical Society, Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of Southern USA's first public museums), First African Baptist Church (among the USA's oldest congregations), Temple Mickve Israel (America's 3rd oldest synagogue), Central of Georgia Railway complex (America's oldest standing antebellum rail facility), the birthplace of Juliette Low (founder of US Girl Scouts). Downtown Savannah features Savannah Historic District, Victorian Historic District, as well as 22 park-like squares. The historic downtown retains its original design (known as "Oglethorpe Plan").
Port Savannah GA
The port is on Savannah River, approx 29 km (18 ml) upstream from the Atlantic Ocean. It is the river's primary port and Georgia's largest cargo port. Ogeechee River flows toward the ocean approx 26 km (16 ml) south of downtown Savannah, forming the city's southern limit.
The port has facilities serving oceangoing vessels (mainly bulk-cargo and container ships), managed by Georgia Ports Authority (GPA). Port Savannah has the following terminal facilities:
- Garden City Terminal is a dedicated containership terminal, ranked the largest on the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The terminal covers a land area of 1200 acres (5 km2) and has berthing capacity 2955 m (9693 ft) continuous quay and over 120,000 m2 (1,3 million ft2) of covered storage space. Garden City Terminal is served by 15 high-speed gantry cranes (of which 4 super post-Panamax and 11 post-Panamax).
- Ocean Terminal is a dedicated breakbulk cargo port facility specializing in handling various bulk cargoes (forest- and solid wood products, steel), as well as RoRo (vehicle carriers) and heavy-lift cargoes. The terminal covers an area of 208 acres (0,8 km2) and has berthing capacity 2039 m (6688 ft) deepwater berthing with approx 140,000 m2 (1,5 million) of covered storage space plus 390,000 m2 (96 acres ) of open storage.
- Target Corporation Facility is a privately owned import warehouse. It is sized 45,900 acres (2 million ft2) and located at Savannah River International Trade Park, approx 6 km (4 ml) from Garden City Terminal. The warehouse was inaugurated in June 2007 and handles overseas cargo.
- IKEA Facility is a 2007-opened IKEA distribution center. It covers an area of 160,000 m2 (1,7 million f2) and is located at Savannah River International Trade Park.
- Heineken USA Facility is a 2008-opened Heineken distribution center will annual capacity ~4000 TEU-containers (7 million beer cases per year). Its cargo is shipped from the company's breweries in Holland.
- Savannah Port Terminal Railroad (SAPT) was inaugurated in 1998 and links the port to Genesee and Wyoming Railroad. The railroad has length 37 km (23 ml) and is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.
Port's primary competitors are Charleston South Carolina (to the northeast) and JAXPORT-Jacksonville Florida (to the south). Georgia Ports Authority also operates Port Brunswick. Port Savannah is US East Coast's largest port in trade volumes of wood pulp, poultry, kaolin clay, raw cotton, paper, paperboard, logs, lumber.
In the period 2000-2005, Savannah was USA's fastest-growing seaport, with an annual growth rate of 16,5% (while the USA's average was 9,7%). Shipping traffic stats showed that in the period 2003-2007, the container traffic increased 55% - from 1,5 million to 2,3 million TEUs. In 2014, port's container traffic was 3+ million TEUs. In FY07 (fiscal year 2007), the port had a record year, becoming the USA's 4th-busiest container cargo port with handled over 2,3 million TEUs / containers (or 14,5% increase over 2006).
In April 2007, Maersk Line (currently world's largest shipping company) added the port to its MECL2 service - now with 5 container shipping services calling on Savannah and linking USA with India (directly from Chennai-Madras), Middle East and Europe (Mediterranean). In June 2007, APL Lines started 2 new boxship services to Savannah - one via Suez Canal and one via Panama Canal. The weekly Suez Express service links Georgia with India and Southeast Asia, starting and ending with Singapore. The weekly East Coast Savannah Express links Georgia with China, starting and ending with Ningbo.
In October 2017, the port reported a record month shipping volume of 410,000 TEUs (handled at Garden City Terminal), which was an increase of 32% (nearly 100,000 TEUs) over September 2017. For FY17 (fiscal year 2017), the port handled 1,42 million TEUs (12,3% increase over FY16).
In 2017, the port handled 4+ million TEUs (11% increase over its highest ever annual container shipping volume). In December alone were handled 323,000 TEUs (10,6% increase over Dec 2016, also reported as port's ever-busiest month). Of December's 323,117 TEUs, export containers were ~52% (imports, respectively, 48%). December's TEU cargo increased by 310,654 tons (to 2,48 million, or 14,3% increase over Dec 2016). Total container tonnage was 30,04 million, of which 52,6% export (47,4% import).
Port's total handled cargo shipping trade volume for 2017 was 35 million tons (12% increase). In October 2018, Port Savannah reported a record container cargo volume (413,800 TEUs), with containerized trade increase 8% (over July-Oct 2017), totaling 1,53 million TEUs. Intermodal rail cargo monthly volume grew 8,7%. Ocean Terminal increased breakbulk cargo monthly trade by 25,8% (totaling 126,165 tons). FY2018 had the highest volume ever (4,35 million TEUs) or 7,5% increase over FY2017. By rail were moved ~860,000 TEUs
Port Savannah's container cranes are 30, with 6 more scheduled for delivery in 2020. This ranks the port USA's largest by ship-to-shore fleet.
- In late-March 2018 was installed the 1st of all 10 new, Finland-made Neo-Panamax cranes. These gantry cranes are tall enough to lift TEU containers up to 152 ft / 46 m above dock and reach across ships up to 22 containers wide. Each crane is fitted with integral generators, generating energy while containers are lowered. The generated power allows 18-min "free electricity" operations per work hour.
- Designed and produced by the Finnish manufacturer Konecranes, these super-sized cranes can serve the world's largest boxships calling East Coast USA.
- The first 4 of the 10 new gantry cranes were installed on Garden City Terminal - among the world's largest single container terminals. Port's 36-crane fleet allows moving nearly 1300 TEUs per hour on a single dock.
Since May 2019, Port Savannah is linked to Central America, Latin America and Caribbean via regularly scheduled (weekly) cargo shipping services provided by Seaboard Marine Ltd (1983-founded, subsidiary of Seaboard Corporation / US-based multinational specializing in agriculture and shipping). Seaboard Marine's new Savannah service increased port's annual cargo volumes by 20,000 TEUs.
- The new shipping line links southeastern USA to North-Central America, with Georgia state exporting mainly frozen poultry and importing mainly chilled produce (fruits, perishables) and apparel from Latin America-Caribbean (Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras) and South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru). The new link also connects to the Caribbean islands Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Guyana, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St Maarten, St Kitts, Trinidad-Tobago.
- Port's cold storage facilities serve frozen goods (Gulf States Cold Storage, Lineage Logistics, AGRO Merchants ) and chilled goods (Americold Logistics). Port's chilled and frozen warehouses are total-sized 1,6 million ft2 (148,500 m2).
- As of 2019, the port has a total of 119 electric-powered racks with combined capacity 3341 reefers (refrigerated TEUs) plus 485 plug-ins for chassis-mounted chilled containers.
For FY2019 (ending June 30), Port Savannah reported a record volume of ~4,5 million TEUs - or 7,3% increase (305,000+ TEUs) over FY2018. By the Mason Mega Rail project (scheduled completion in 2021) seaport's rail capacity will be doubled and Savannah will have North America's largest on-terminal intermodal cargo terminal - with annual capacity 1 million TEUs.
Savannah GA cruise terminal
Cruise ships in Savannah GA dock at the quay alongside River Street. The terminal is located within easy walking distance from all the city's major tourist attractions. However, as cruise port, Savannah serves mainly riverboats, and predominantly - from the fleet of American Cruise Lines.
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