Port of Savannah aims to boost capacity and fluidity

Port of Savannah
Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal | Photo Credit: Georgia Ports Authority

February 15, 2024–The Port of Savannah, the nation’s fourth largest container gateway by volume, plans to increase its throughput capacity and trucking fluidity through the development of $4.5 billion worth of infrastructure projects now under consideration.

“I greatly value the relationship we have with the Georgia Ports Authority and appreciate their efforts to help the trucking community provide customers with faster service. Their proposed developments will boost throughput by enabling truckers to move boxes off container terminals quicker and get to their next destinations sooner. This is definitely something that will benefit everyone,” said Cargomatic President Ed Aldridge.

Georgia Ports Authority Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy told Cargomatic that “We are investing in upgrades to our ports in Savannah and Brunswick to handle the growing cargo volumes in the Southeast region consumer base and are excited to constantly make supply chains work better.”

One of the main developments is the Brampton Road Connector, a $127 million project which eventually aims to eliminate at-grade crossings in order to ease traffic congestion and offer truckers quicker access to one of the busiest container terminals in the nation.

According to the GPA, truck transportation is the greatest user of the port, moving some 80% of cargo while rail carries around 20% along high-volume corridors to destinations more than 200 miles away.

The GPA has also recently announced plans to invest $29 million in an overpass linking the port’s Ocean Terminal to U.S. Highway 17 to keep terminal truck traffic flowing more quickly and away from slower, more easily congested neighborhood streets.

In addition to the improved highway access, also under development is a new project called the Blue Ridge Connector, a 104-acre location that officials say will link the Port of Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail with daily rail departures to inland markets aboard CSX and Norfolk Southern trains.

“By linking to the Port of Savannah via rail, the Blue Ridge Connector will reduce congestion on Georgia highways, eliminating the 600-mile round trip drive to and from the coast,” GPA said in a statement.

Rail developments like this play well with Cargomatic’s own philosophy by reducing emissions, lowering transportation costs for importers and exporters and providing closer and more frequent drayage for truck drivers who can transport containers in their local markets, closer to home.

The pandemic reinforced for most port authorities that fluid throughput relies on getting boxes off ocean shipping container yards as quickly as possible and that providing better access to highways and rails is absolutely critical.

The Port of Savannah is clearly in line with this thinking as the road and rail projects now being proposed are developments that will improve the speed and flow of containerized cargo through one of the nation’s busiest gateways.