The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) in California report record volumes for July.
GPA said July 2022 was its “fastest start ever” to a new fiscal year; it handled 530,800 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), up 18% from the same month last year.
Since January 2022, GPA has moved 3.4 million TEUs, a 7% increase (or 231,400 TEUs) from the same period in 2021, which was a “record year” with GPA handling 5.6 million TEUs. Annualized, the July 2022 volumes have the Port of Savannah moving containers at a rate of more than 6 million TEUs per year, according to GPA.
GPA on Aug. 1 shifted operations to start two hours earlier; gates now open from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. without interruption. Since then, “the Port has seen strong adoption from drivers, with 3,000 transactions completed in the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. time block over the past week,” it reported on Aug. 8.
GPA said it will grow annual berth capacity from 6 million to 7.5 million TEUs by next year, and 9 million TEUs by 2025. Additionally, it anticipates spending $4.5 billion over the next 12 years to expand container-handling capabilities.
“While the global logistics network has been challenged over the past two years, our message to customers is that at GPA, we’re continuing to build and expand,” GPA Chairman Joel Wooten said.
POLB on Aug. 9 reported that dockworkers and terminal operators moved 785,843 TEUs in July 2022, a 0.13% increase from the previous record set in July 2021. Imports fell 1.8% to 376,175 TEUs, while exports dipped 0.5% to 109,411 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the Port were up 2.8% to 300,257 TEUs.
“The economy is not necessarily in a recession,” POLB said, “but weaker domestic demand confirms it is rapidly downshifting amid stubbornly high inflation and aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve. Consumer spending rose a modest 1% nationally, attributed to an increase in spending on services that offset a decline in purchasing goods.”
Including July, POLB said it has broken monthly records in six out of the last seven months. It moved 5,793,621 TEUs during the first seven months of 2022, up 4.6% from the same period last year.
“We are continuing to seek solutions to improve efficiency as a record-breaking number of containers move through the Port,” POLB Executive Director Mario Cordero reported.