Once restricted to 6,500-TEU, Savannah Port docks 9,200-TEU MSC Roma

2012 03 01

THE US Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal has accommodated its largest box ship to date, the 9,200-TEU MSC Roma after being limited to ships of 6,500 TEU capacity only a few years ago.

This development coincides with the release of the latest Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, which estimates that import volumes at all major US retail ports in January were down 3.3 per cent year on year.

However, the Port of Savannah registered a three per cent increase to 118,073 TEU in January, reports the Savannah Morning News.

Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is also forecast to fall by 6.8 per cent in February compared with the same month a year ago.

In December, the last month for which actual figures are available, US ports handled 1.17 million TEU, representing a decline of six per cent from November, but up two per cent year on year.

Total imports for 2011 amounted to at 14.8 million TEU, up 0.4 per cent compared with 2010's total volume handled.

As for Savannah it handled 1.4 million TEU of imports last year, up 2.5 per cent year on year.

On a brighter note, the report is now forecasting that for the rest of the first half of 2012, US ports ought to post increases.

"With consumer confidence building, retailers are optimistic that the economy is recovering but are continuing to be cautious with their inventory levels," said National Retail Federation vice president Jonathan Gold.

Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett added. "The question is will wholesalers and retailers be able to manage their inventories as well as they did in 2011? Most likely, yes."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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