A container berth at the Port of Savannah is shown.

Crews work to prepare Berth 1 at Garden City Terminal to serve vessels with a capacity of 16,000+ twenty-foot equivalent container units. The Georgia Ports Authority is building new berth and container yard capacity to accommodate growing demand.

Credit: Georgia Ports Authority

Georgia Ports Authority officials say an offshore bottleneck at the Port of Savannah has peaked.

Incoming holiday cargo and diversions from other ports have caused record volumes — and kept ships offshore.

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said more than 40 ships were waiting to come into the port Tuesday morning.

"The vessels have plateaued and we have that under control," Lynch said. "We've invested a significant amount of money into creating new capacity on our facilities."

The authority has about $1 billion in projects underway to increase capacity, including new berths and cranes on the ship side. And on land, the port recently completed a massive rail upgrade and announced earlier opening hours for truckers.

It's all designed to ease the bottleneck, which exacerbates supply chain issues throughout the economy.

"This is unprecedented volume," Lynch said. "We just need to continue to build our facilities to increase our capacity to adjust to the new level of volume."

On Monday, GPA announced that July cargo traffic was up 18% over July last year, making it the fastest-ever start to a fiscal year at the Port of Savannah.

The Port of Savannah handled 530,800 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, a measure of container cargo, last month.