Diagram of new development at GPA's Savannah River International Trade Park.
Diagram of new development at GPA's Savannah River International Trade Park.

On Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority announced the sale of five parcels of land for commercial development at GPA’s Savannah River International Trade Park. The new development can hold up to five million square feet of logistics space and is less than five miles away from Garden City Container Terminal.

The project is also one mile away from I-95, which will allow the port to service a larger range of customers from the Southeast to the Midwest.

"Today's announcement will help further establish Savannah as a gateway port for the U.S. Southeast and beyond," said Executive Director Griff Lynch.

Developers plan to accommodate the Port of Savannah’s new demand for transloading facilities, warehousing and distribution. Each developer will lease, improve and purchase their parcel of land. Each developer has also agreed that at least 75 percent of the cargo handled on the property will go through GPA terminal facilities.

Record performances have been reported at the Savannah container port since November 2016 and the additional space is likely to keep things running smoothly. The GPA reported a 5.8 percent increase in container traffic for the month of November, a 12.3 percent increase in December, and a 16.1 percent increase in January.

The port of Savannah is the second-largest container port on the East Coast and the fourth-largest in the United States. Garden City Terminal is the fourth-busiest container port in the United States and provides access to 44 percent of U.S. consumers in 2-3 days. This makes Garden City Terminal the busiest single-terminal container facility in North America.

More efforts are being made to increase the capacity at the GPA. A rail expansion project at Garden City Terminal, which is expected to double the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year, will be completed in 2021. The Port of Brunswick has 200 acres of land in developmental stages for auto processing at Colonel's Island Terminal.

"The expansion we're seeing in our container volumes constitutes a strong vote of confidence from our new and longtime port customers," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "Keeping ahead of demand requires infrastructure development in both the public and private sector. The new facilities destined for our trade park are part of that equation. The GPA is also making the on-terminal improvements necessary to stay ahead of demand."