April 12 - The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reported a 9.8 percent increase in total tonnage across all of its terminals in March, 2017, moving 2.89 million tons (2.62 million tonnes), marking the busiest March in the authority's history.

"Strong demand from retail and manufacturing customers - both in the USA and abroad - is driving growth in Savannah and Brunswick," said GPA executive director Griff Lynch.

In the ro-ro cargo sector, the Port of Brunswick achieved growth of 22.5 percent, with Colonel's Island Terminal moving 56,580 units, up by 10,386 cars, trucks and tractors for the month. GPA plans to add 510 acres (206.3 ha), in addition to the 214 acre (86.6 ha) development at GPA's autoport, which will double the capacity for cars and heavy machinery in Brunswick.

Breakbulk cargo also saw double-digit growth for the month, reaching 232,601 tons (211,012 tonnes), a 10.5 percent increase over March 2016. Strong categories included iron and steel, which grew by 82 percent in total cargo to reach 35,598 tons (32,293.9 tonnes).

The GPA's cargo report follows the US Federal Maritime Commission's approval of an agreement between the port authorities of Georgia and Virginia to share best practices and marketing efforts. The port authorities filed the East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement in February, as HLPFI reported here.