What you need to know about the $430 million Port of Savannah improvements

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Port of Savannah | Georgia Ports Authority / Jeremy Polston

SAVANNAH — The Georgia Ports Authority plans to spend roughly $430 million on infrastructure improvements at the Port of Savannah.

Of the $430 million, GPA is covering $395.4 million, funded through the authority’s proceeds. The federal government is chipping in a $34.6 million grant.

The news comes as the port handled 495,782 twenty-foot equivalent container units in April, a port record for the month when GPA’s containerized trade increased 6.2%. GPA said its Garden City Terminal now handles almost one out of every nine loaded containers crossing docks nationwide.

“The phenomenal growth we have achieved has been made possible by the team effort of GPA and Gateway Terminals employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and our partners in trucking and rail,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in an announcement. “Their hard work has ensured the free flow of cargo between major markets across the U.S. Southeast and the world.”

The GPA’s Peak Capacity Project is among the upgrades and, as of April 13, has added 900,000 TEUs of annual container yard capacity to the Garden City Terminal. According to a news release, another 300,000 TEUs of capacity should be online by July.

The GPA is also renovating Container Berth 1 (CB-1) at the Garden City Terminal, upgrades that authorities said are more than 40% complete. The upgraded CB-1 will increase annual berth capacity by 1.4 million TEUs.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a 25-acre chassis yard along Georgia Highway 21, and the GPA plans to replace a 50,000 square-foot cargo shed at Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick. Additionally, the GPA expects to start operating nine new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes by spring 2023.

“Our long-running program of infrastructure expansion, coupled with the Authority’s ability as an owner-operator to speed up the schedule of development, has allowed the Port of Savannah to adapt to heightened container volumes,” GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten said in an announcement. “On-terminal and inland capacity improvements enable cargo to flow across our docks without congestion.”