Posts Tagged “Port of Savannah”
The Port of Savannah will soon see its container capacity increase with the addition of four cranes to help move those containers. The port is the largest single container facility in the U.S.
The four Neo-Panamax cranes arrived in late November, bringing the total number of the cranes at the facility to 30. Six more cranes are scheduled to arrive in 2020, and when all are operational, the port will be able to move 1,300 containers an hour, according to a news release.
“(As) we reflect on all the success we’ve enjoyed, we also look forward to the new era of prosperity these cranes will help usher in,” Georgia Ports Authority board chairman Jimmy Allgood said in the release. “Our considerable investments today ensure Georgia’s ports reputation for excellence.”
Upgrades to the Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail capacity to 1 million container lifts, expanding the port’s access to the Midwest.
The Neo-Panamax cranes can lift containers 152 feet above the dock and the booms reach out 192 feet. Each crane can lift 72 tons. The cranes operate over nine berth spaces.
All of the new cranes, a $47-million investment, will be operational by April.
Not only has The Port of Savannah recently received its first-ever shipment of table grapes, it was the port’s first fresh produce, coordinated by Alpharetta, Ga.-based AGRO Merchants Group, which operates cold storage facilities in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
While this first time happening may be modest, it could very well mean increased loading opportunities for truckers hauling fresh fruits and vegetables out of the Southeastern U.S.
Fresh Peruvian table grapes were shipped by Divine Flavor, a grower-owned distribution partner of the Mexican company Grupo Alta, according to a news release.
Nordic Cold Storage, a member of AGRO Merchants Group, managed the local handling and logistics of the shipment.
AGRO said it was the first shipment of fresh produce imported through the port and stored in a chilled facility in Savannah.
“We are very excited to work with the AGRO Merchants team on our Peruvian grape program in Savannah,” Divine Flavor’s chief operating officer, Jose Antonio Martinez, said in the release. “Their superb customer service has been evident since day one and their reputation as an expert third-party service provider in the perishable industry is well-founded.”
The Peruvian grapes will be delivered to retailers in the Southeast and Midwest, according to the release, and the proximity of the Port of Savannah to Divine Flavor’s customers will save up to five days in delivery.
In response to the rising market demand for fresh produce to be handled through the growing Savannah seaport, AGRO converted part of the nearly 400,000-square-foot Nordic frozen facility into chilled refrigerated space, an interim solution while the company completes construction of a new facility in the Port of Savannah, according to the release.
The Port of Savannah is only 250 miles from the major distribution hub in the Southeast – Atlanta – and also provides easy access to markets throughout the Southeastern United States.
Within a few weeks PortFresh Logistics, a Georgia-based company, plans to open a 100,000 square-foot cold treatment facility dedicated to perishable cargoes. These items will be imported through the Port of Savannah. The facility will strengthen Savannah in its role as a new entry point for South American produce.
Peruvian grapes arrived in Savannah this season, marking the first time the port has received this commodity from Peru. The grapes, which began arriving in November, are part of a string of commodities that are quickly making the port a major gateway in the Southeast for fresh produce and other perishables. The port already is receiving avocados, citrus and a large share of Peruvian sweet onions in the fall.
Savannah is the fourth-largest container port behind Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York and it’s location cuts transportation costs for receivers, who historically paid for freight arriving at ports in the Northeast. The savings per container are $1,000, if not more.
A large perishable facility will soon open 15 miles from the port offering various services for shippers, including refrigerated warehouses where re-packaging, fumigation and de-consolidation of perishable cargo can take place.
For now, the amount of grapes making the 17-day journey from Peru to Savannah is relatively small. But the volume of grapes, as well as other fresh produce items, will only increase as the benefits of the port become more apparent. Additionally, some observers believe Chilean and Central American commodities will more frequently come through the port.
The Savannah, Ga., port will be authorized to accept commodities from Peru and Brazil that have undergone cold treatment. Brazil and Peru grapes and Peru blueberries and citrus, including mandarins, tangelos, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit and sour limes, are to be allowed, according to a news release. The cold treatment process prevents the transmission of agricultural pests and last year, the USDA approved a similar program for cold-treated Peru and Uruguay blueberries and grapes into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Port of Miami.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. Inc., imports produce and other commodities through the south Florida ports and ports in Jacksonville, Pennsauken, N.J., and Gulfport. The test program should help increase produce movement, something the Savannah port doesn’t handle much of. The program is said to be the next logical step to complement cold treatment conducted at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The port is looking to grow their perishables imports because they export a lot of poultry and refrigerated cargo.
Containers that fail cold treatment will be prohibited from entering the port and will not be offloaded from vessels but will be allowed to ship via sea to a northeastern port for retreatment or be returned to the country of origin, according to the release.
While South American fruit destined to customers in the Southeast has traditionally been shipped to northern U.S. ports, the addition of Savannah could reduce truck delivery times and allow fresher offerings for stores and longer shelf life for consumers.
The port plans to work closely with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to evaluate the application of cold treatment and to monitor its progress, according to the release.