Georgia’s ports handled record traffic for fiscal year 2015, with container volumes jumping 17 percent to 3.66 million thanks to a confluence of factors.
The Port of Savannah saw a lot of new customers over the year as a labor dispute on the West Coast delayed the processing of shipments in California, officials said.
Also helping were the U.S. economic recovery and further shifts of traffic to Savannah from other regional gateways.
After a 28 percent year-over-year increase in March, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz acknowledged the unusual confluence of circumstances that had brought record traffic, but told Global Atlanta that the numbers could indicate a “market shift” toward the East Coast, since it handled even record volumes seamlessly.
The Port of Brunswick, which handles shipments of cars, tractors and other vehicles, saw a 1.9 percent increase in so-called “roll-on, roll-off cargo”, a more modest gain but still a record at 714,021 vehicles.
Total tonnage, including both containerized and breakbulk shipments of goods like paper, rubber and steel, grew by 7.8 percent to a record 31.69 million tons.