Savannah, for example, only had a metropolitan population of 387,543 in 2017. What it lacks in size is made up for in efficiency.
David Porter, regional sales manager of trade and development at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), said that Savannah is the “fastest growing and most efficient port in the United States.”
“We do 10,000 to 12,000 trucks per day. We run as many trucks in our port in 12 hours as Shanghai does in 24 hours. We’re very efficient,” he said.
GPA has an ambitious growth plan to boost capacity in Savannah by more than 8 million TEUs by 2028. The Port of Savannah plans to achieve this growth by taking capacity away from the West Coast by providing cheaper drayage and rail rates when servicing Midwest cities, such as Chicago and Dallas.
Meanwhile, the Port of Jacksonville is another quickly growing port along the U.S. East Coast. It is the largest container port in Florida and handled 1.27 million TEUs in 2018.
On Monday, the Jacksonville Port Authority signed a deal with SSA Marine for the terminal operator to expand its operations at Blount Island through the creation of a $239.7 million container terminal.
“The facility, SSA Jacksonville International Gateway Terminal, is an expansion of SSA Marine’s current leasehold at Blount Island and will offer deepwater berthing space to accommodate the larger containerships calling JAXPORT from Asia more fully loaded,” according to a Jacksonville Port Authority press release. “SSA Marine will expand to approximately 80 acres of terminal operating space, with the option to grow up to 120 acres as space becomes available.”
The port authority also said, “The facility will offer a vessel turning basin and deepwater access of 47 feet upon completion of the Jacksonville Harbor deepening project, which is ahead of schedule and expected to be complete in 2023, based on continued funding from all partners.”
The tool shows that services calling SSA Marine’s Blount Island Marine Terminal have a total combined deployed capacity of 206,334 TEUs, while services calling the Dames Point Terminal, which is operated by TraPac, have a total combined deployed capacity of 245,807 TEUs.
Additionally, services calling Tallyrand Marine Terminal have a total combined deployed capacity of 10,928 TEUs. This illustrates that 53 percent of container volumes currently deployed through the port are deployed through the Dames Point Terminal, followed by 45 percent through the Blount Island Marine Terminal and 2 percent through the Tallyrand Marine Terminal.
In the future, growth at U.S. East Coast ports will likely continue to surpass growth at U.S. West Coast ports and allow ports like New York, Savannah and Jacksonville to become even more competitive with their transcontinental rivals.