U.S. East Coast Seeing Robust Volumes at the Ports

Ports on the U.S. East Coast are seeing record amounts of volumes in the past month, with some ports even seeing record volumes consistently for months. Along with record volumes, many ports are adding more employees, more projects to help improve efficiency and capacity, and more.

We will take a deep dive into different ports in the U.S. East Coast that are seeing record volumes, in addition to any current or future projects these ports are implementing to improve their ports.

South Carolina Ports

The South Carolina Ports April volumes were at the highest they have ever been, increasing to 34% year-over-year, for containers handled at the port – the South Carolina Ports announced in statement. This has also marked the 14th consecutive month of cargo records at the Port of Charleston.

South Carolina Ports moved 2.4 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) for far in the 2022 fiscal year, which is up 15% fiscal year-over-year, the South Carolina Ports stated.

South Carolina Ports have hired an additional 150+ people in their operations department, provided Sunday gates for motor carriers, prioritizing the shipping lines taking out empty containers, giving berth priority to vessels taking out more cargo and leasing new chassis from its SMART pool, the South Carolina Ports announced.

Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia saw their second-most productive month in the port’s history of handling export and import containers, with processing more than 323,000 TEU’s, which is up 12.9% from 2021 – the Port said in a statement.

“The Port is investing $1.3 billion throughout the next four years, to make sure they have the infrastructure and capacity,” Stephen A. Edwards, Virginia Port Authority CEO stated.

Additionally, the port is in the process of adding new cranes, that will be set for service in May. Those, plus the 15 hybrid shuttle trucks the port is adding, will help increase capacity and efficiency to their operations, as peak season approaches.

Georgia Ports

The Port of Savannah continues to see records, as they handled almost 500,000 TEUs in the month of April, which is an April record for the port. In addition, the for first 10 months of the 2022 fiscal year, the Port of Savannah handled 4.75 million TEUs, which is up 8 percent from the prior year, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) said in a statement. As the Port in Savannah business continues to grow, the GPA is continuing to expand berth and container yard capacity at the port.

The GPA also announced an update on capacity improvement projects, which include:

  • Approval to replace a 50,00 square-foot cargo shed at Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick, with a new 100,000 square-foot warehouse, that will have up to date life safety improvements and upgrades on flooring which will help to handle heavy cargoes.
  • Container Berth 1 renovations at Garden City Terminal are over 40 percent complete. These renovations will increase annual berth capacity at the Container Berth 1 by 1.4 million TEUs. The GPA expects the renovation to be completed by June 2023.
  • In Spring 2023, the GPA plans to bring online nine new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes. This will bring the Port of Savannah’s total RTG fleet to 207.
  • Phase 1 of the Garden City Terminal West project will add a 25-acre yard close to Ga. 21 – construction is set to be completed by mid-summer

Looking Ahead

It won’t surprise anyone if ports on the U.S. East Coast and beyond continue to see record volumes throughout summer and the beginning of peak season, and beyond.

Many are predicting port congestion will continue into the summer due to continued U.S. import growth, the start of peaking shipping season, and the post-lockdown in Shanghai (whenever that may end), but only time will tell.

If you would like more information regarding this topic, contact our team at InterlogUSA and we will be happy to assist you on any questions or comments you may have! In addition, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.


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