The Georgia Ports saw record growth again in February, following an all time high in January. It was the Georgia ports’ second-highest monthly tonnage ever, following 3.02 million tons in January.
Collectively, the Brunswick and Savannah Ports saw a roughly 10 percent increase in imports and exports in February when compared to the previous year. Port officials attribute the growth to the expansion of the Panama Canal, which allows for an increase in cargo volume.
While the overall report for the Ports was positive at the board’s monthly meeting Monday, Brunswick has seen a dip in business, namely in bulk cargo. The local port saw a 9.5 percent reduction in bulk goods like rubber, lumber and automobiles. It was a 3.9 percent decline over 2016. Other bulk goods including biodiesel, vegetable oil and soybean meal were down 11.1 percent in February and 15.7 percent for the past eight months.
Savannah, however, continued to see major gains, expanding by 14.4 percent (314,832 tons) to more than 2.5 million tons for the month.
“Ocean carriers have recognized the Port of Savannah as the must-call port to serve the Southeastern U.S.,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch Monday. “With the coming realignment of the shipping alliances in April, Savannah will offer more container services than any other East Coast or Gulf port, at 35 weekly vessel calls.”
Lynch said Savannah’s Ocean Terminal also saw significant growth in February, with a 9.2 percent increase in breakbulk cargo for the month, led by iron, steel and auto imports.
“A 38 percent increase in iron and steel is a good leading indicator of future growth in construction, as well as automobile and other manufacturing,” Lynch said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.