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Busy Port of Savannah sees relief at Atlanta's Hulsey Yard, three other offsite facilities


Garden City Terminal at the Port of Savannah Credit: Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday that it has activated four railyards across the state to help alleviate congestion at the Port of Savannah, including east Atlanta's 70-acre Hulsey Yard.

Hulsey — located in the neighborhoods of Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Reynoldstown, and Cabbagetown — will help avoid more than 500 roundtrip truck miles per box, with anticipated volumes of 1,200 containers per month, according to GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

“While others are getting choked out, we're adding space,” Lynch said Monday during a meeting of GPA's board of directors. “So, our total inventory on terminal is down by 22% because of the great work being done by our team, and we're adding 25% more space.”

The move comes ahead of the holidays amid the nation's supply chain crunch caused by the global pandemic.

Three other container yards are up and running in Savannah, Statesboro, and northwest Georgia's Murray County. Additional sites under construction will eventually increase the GPA's offsite capacity to 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo.

Onsite at the Port of Savannah, GPA says it will open 670,000 TEUs of new annual capacity at its main Garden City Terminal by January, an additional 155,000 TEUs in March, and another 850,000 TEUs by June.

The Port of Savannah saw its busiest month ever in October — the most recently available month that data was available — when 504,350 TEUs crossed its docks. Despite this heavy traffic, there was a 53% drop in the number of import containers waiting on port for more than four weeks, compared to September.

“Over the past year, year-and-a-half, two years, when other ports were having major problems, Savannah and Brunswick have led the pack in meeting the challenges and moving forward and exceeding what we even thought we might be able to do,” said GPA Board Chair Joel Wooten Jr.

Copyright 2021 Georgia Public Broadcasting

Benjamin Payne