State officials say the ports of Savannah and Brunswick experienced record volumes during 2011. Georgia Ports Authority released figures showing, the ports handled 26.1 million tons of cargo, a 4.3% increase over the previous year. In Savannah, the Authority handled a record 2.95 million containers, a 3.5% increase over 2010.
Georgia ports officials are asking state lawmakers for $46 million for Savannah harbor deepening in the upcoming legislative session. But it's not the only item they'll be following. Georgia Ports Authority also is interested in the results of a year-long initiative to re-write laws affecting businesses.
Georgia Ports Authority has signed an agreement with a Canadian firm to upgrade the Port of Brunswick. The Logistec Corporation will spend $5 million to deepen container berths and improve the facility that handles wood pellets. Ports spokesman Robert Morris says, the Brunswick port is close to customers making and exporting wood pellets from the heart of Georgia's timber land.
Georgia exports rose to an all-time high of $28 billion last year. The US Census recently released information about the value of the nation's international trade. The numbers show Georgia's top exports are wood pulp, poultry, kaolin and carpet. Top destinations are Brazil, Mexico and China.
Georgia is one of four states participating in a coastal alliance aimed at getting the South Atlantic region in synch on environmental issues. The South Atlantic Alliance recently released a draft plan to coordinate state policies on port expansion, disaster response and other issues.
But the chief of Georgia's Ports Authority says, he's still frustrated by delays in the process to approve deepening the Savannah harbor. Curtis Foltz doesn't believe business will suffer as long as work is well underway by the time larger ships start sailing through the Panama Canal in 2014.