Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As you may know, on July 1, I assumed the duties of executive director for the Georgia Ports Authority. For five years, I have had the honor to serve as Chief Operating Officer for the GPA, under the leadership of Curtis Foltz.
Upon taking on this new responsibility, we remain committed to significantly increasing capacity ahead of current demand so that we can accommodate your cargo into the future.
This month we received five new electric rubber-tired gantry cranes, for a total of 141 RTGs at Garden City Terminal, continuing our transition to cleaner and more efficient electric power. In June, the GPA received a national 2016 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award
for its eRTG program. We will also receive four additional ship-to-shore cranes in the fall, pushing our total to 20 neopanamax and six post-panamax cranes -- more than any other terminal in the country. We have ordered four neopanamax cranes in addition to those, which will bring the total to 30 by spring of 2018.
Also this month, GPA was awarded a $44 million Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to increase rail efficiency, improve safety and reduce environmental impacts. This new expansion will allow GPA to double its intermodal capacity, while extending GPA's reach into new markets.
Just last week, GPA welcomed the more than 10,000-TEU MOL Benefactor, its first neopanamax vessel via the expanded Panama Canal. The vessel's arrival marked an exciting industry shift for which GPA has prepared for more than a decade. Previously, 10,000-TEU vessels could serve Savannah only via the Suez Canal.
I wanted to provide a quick update on progress being made on the expansion of the Savannah River channel. The project will deepen the outer harbor to 49 feet at low tide (56 feet at high tide) and the inner harbor to 47 feet at low tide (54 feet at high tide). Work continues as planned and the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that outer harbor dredging is 16 percent complete.
In May, we were honored to have Governor Nathan Deal and state officials on hand to cut the ribbon on the Jimmy Deloach Parkway Expansion.The route allows direct access to I-95 and I-16 for the more than 8,000 trucks that enter and leave the Port of Savannah each day.
In addition, Governor Deal announced a strategic freight mobility plan earlier this year. The detailed plan is an illustration of how Georgia is diligently working to significantly improve freight mobility statewide.
On a final note, I would like to thank you for your trust in the Georgia Ports Authority. I look forward to earning, and hopefully growing, your cargo business here in Georgia each and every day.
Georgia Ports Authority