THE Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is increasing chilled cargo capacity to stay ahead of anticipated growth in demand.
GPA executive director Griff Lynch, said: "Expansion among our cold storage partners in the Savannah market will drive greater volumes of chilled cargo crossing our docks.
"While the Port of Savannah already accommodates the most refrigerated containers on the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts, enhancing our on-terminal capacity will better support the jobs and opportunity sparked by private investment."
Private chilled and frozen warehouse space in Savannah is set to grow by 11 per cent in 2023 to more than 2.2 million square feet.
The GPA board recently approved construction of seven additional refrigerated container racks at the Port of Savannah. The US$6.2 million project will grow the number of slots for cold cargo to 3,506 at Garden City Terminal, counting chassis plug-ins. Savannah's Ocean Terminal provides another 368 refrigerated container plugs.
GPA's fastest growing cold chain exports in 2022 were poultry, beef, fish fillets, candy and frozen vegetables. Top performing chilled imports were grapes, vegetables, fish fillets, potatoes and candy.
"Serving the US Southeast via Savannah reduces overland transportation costs to vital markets such as Atlanta, and ensures perishable goods reach customers faster and fresher," said GPA Board chairman Joel Wooten.
Meanwhile, GPA has said vessel service had returned to normal operations, with no backlog.
In addition, Mr Lynch reported that four new ship-to-shore cranes are slated to arrive at the Port of Savannah on February 9. The cranes are large enough to handle vessels with a capacity of over 20,000 TEU.
The cranes are destined for Container Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal, which is currently under renovation. When berth improvements are complete in July, the Port of Savannah will be able to serve seven ships simultaneously.
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