The Georgia Ports Authority has saw its all-time busiest month in January, welcome news for the Port of Brunswick as well as its sister in Savannah.

The first month of 2017 brought a record 3 million tons of cargo through Georgia Ports, up 623,504 tons compared with the same month a year ago. It was a 26 percent increase in growth, experienced across all business sectors.

In Brunswick, the amount of bulk cargo more than doubled to 235,802 tons in January, an increase of 125,998 tons. The break-bulk cargo at the Mayor’s Point and Colonel’s Island terminals, both in Brunswick, combined with Ocean Terminal in Savannah, grew by 17.7 percent to 211,575 tons, an increase of 31,796 tons. The increase of 465,710 tons in loaded containers contributed to a 22.1 percent growth in container tonnage for a total of 2.57 million tons over the month.

In Savannah, containerized trade also saw strong growth, with 331,468 twenty-foot equivalent units crossing the docks at the Port of Savannah. That was a 16.2 percent, or 46,167 TEUs, increase. Of that volume, loaded containers accounted for approximately 268,000 TEUs, which proved to be another record for the port.

Roll-on/Roll-off trade improved by seven percent, with 52,778 units of cars, trucks and tractors moving across GPA docks in January, an increase of 3,389 vehicles compared to last year.

Griff Lynch, executive director of the Authority, credited the solid growth to the quality of service at the ports, noting supply chain efficiencies accounted for the record amount of tonnage moved through the ports in January.

“With on-terminal efficiencies bolstered by interstates within minutes of the port and the fastest westward rail transit in the South Atlantic region, Garden City Terminal provides more reliable, more cost effective freight movement,” he said.

Like Lynch, Jimmy Allgood, GPA board chair, said the month speaks to the strength of the region’s economy and indicates a strong year ahead.

“As we continue to expand our transportation infrastructure through a deeper harbor, the largest crane fleet of any U.S. terminal, unmatched interstate connections and a mega-terminal for rail, you will see our ports continue to capture market share and bring new business to the state,” Allgood said.