When it comes to news of port congestion, growth, and other industry updates, we pretty much only hear about Long Beach and LA ports. For good reason – they’re some of the most congested ports in the U.S., and it seems there’s always new updates to report on.
However, the events of the last season have caused the international cargo industry to boom and have resulted in several carriers and ports experiencing higher volumes than ever before. The port of Savannah is no exception.
Savannah Port Project: Peak Capacity
Port workers at Savannah have reported seeing higher cargo volumes than ever before, putting them years ahead previously forecasted growth rates. According to one leader, the volume of containers they are moving at this point in time exceeds their expected container volume 4 years out.
Due to the surge in port activity and container volume, the port of Savannah is embarking on an expansion effort that will increase their available container capacity by over 20%. This new expansion effort was approved by the board and will be called the “Peak Capacity” project, and will create 2,100 additional grounded container slots on the port grounds.
The Peak Capacity project is divided into two phases for development – the first one will be completed by September and is expected to add additional annual capacity of 610,000 TEU containers. The move to increase their container capacity by 20% is appropriately planned considering the port experienced upwards of a 17% growth in container volume in the back half of 2020 through the early months of 2021.
Savannah Port Project: Berth 1
And while the Peak Capacity project is big news, the board of the Savannah port approved another project titled the “Berth 1” project, which is expected to increase the berth capacity of the Savannah port by 1 million TEUs by June of 2023.
The recent surges in cargo volume at the port of Savannah put them as the fastest growing port in the U.S. through 2020 and 2021. While the port is growing as a result of increased general international shipping activity, it has been speculated that the consistent port congestion and overbookings on the west coast have caused shippers to look elsewhere for solutions – creating an opportunity for the Savanah ocean port to grow.
Strategizing Cargo Routing in 2021
What does all this information mean? The international shipping industry is constantly changing – it’s not just a “thing people say.” Technology, routing plans, ports, and carriers are constantly changing, and it’s important to have a strategic partner to help you navigate it all.
The purpose of a freight forwarder is not to act as an ad-hoc service provider, but rather to serve as a source of value, and when navigating the international shipping industry, it’s important to be connected with a vendor who is well-informed of changes happening in the industry.
If you are currently shipping internationally, the changes at the port of Savannah are absolutely relevant to your business. And if you’ve experienced port congestion, blank sailings, or delays in your shipping process, it’s time to talk with a freight forwarder who can help you navigate the international shipping industry with the changes going into effect at Savannah. If you’re in that boat (figuratively), please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team members! We would love to answer your questions and help you strategize your process to accommodate the recent changes in the Savannah ocean port!