Industry Roundup: Port investment & growth in Savannah, Houston, South Carolina and More

GSC Logistics ∕ July

Industry news roundup on ports and more

As the global trade landscape evolves with supply and demand fluctuations, keeping current on the latest industry news is crucial. In this blog, we’ll explore recent trends, regulatory updates, and transformative innovations impacting the logistics and freight landscape. Get ready to expand your knowledge and gain valuable insights into the industry’s current developments.

Here are five recent stories you won’t want to miss from the logistics landscape: 

Savannah doubles down on terminal expansion with $1.4 billion investment 

Savannah, one of the fastest-growing ports in the U.S., is making a significant investment of $1.4 billion to expand its terminals. The expansion plans include adding 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of annual capacity to an existing terminal later this year. A separate terminal with another 1.5 million TEUs in capacity will open in January 2025. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) aims to achieve 3 million additional TEUs in capacity by mid-2026. 

The expansion will reinforce Savannah’s position as a critical player in the import and export industry, accommodating the growing demands of global trade. 

Houston surpasses the 1 million TEU mark amid growing exports 

The Port of Houston experienced a significant increase in container exports in April, surpassing 2022 volumes. The port has handled over 1 million loaded TEUs since January 2024. Loaded exports rose by 17 percent year-to-date, though import container cargo declined by only 10 percent compared to the previous year. Total container volume in April was down eight percent from 2022, but year-to-date volume remained stable.  

The port is recovering from pandemic disruptions with a balanced mix of imports and exports. Infrastructure investments and the Houston Ship Channel expansion remain top priorities.  

Houston Ship Channel’s economic value nears $1 trillion 

According to a study by John Martin Associates, the Houston Ship Channel has achieved an economic value approaching $1 trillion. In 2022, the channel generated $906 billion in economic value for the U.S., a 13 percent increase from 2018. Additionally, the channel contributed $439 billion in economic value for Texas, supporting 3.4 million jobs nationwide.  

Port Houston’s container exports exceeded historical volumes, while import container cargo slightly softened. The positive findings reinforce the Port Commission’s commitment to future investments, including the ongoing Houston Ship Channel expansion project. 

U.S. Imports up again as marker mirrors pre-Covid ‘normal’ 

Amid concerns of a looming recession and the challenges the container shipping industry faces, U.S. imports are showing signs of recovery. Descartes and Container Trades Statistics (CTS) data indicates a return to pre-pandemic volume seasonality. U.S. ports imported over 2 million TEUs of containerized cargo in April, a nine percent increase from March and a five percent increase from April 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Global Port Tracker predicts that U.S. imports will surpass pre-pandemic levels in June-September, peaking in August. 

South Carolina Ports sees volumes trending upward 

South Carolina Ports experienced an increase in cargo volumes in April of Q2. The port moved over 214,000 TEUs and 119,000 pier containers, marking an 11 percent month-over-month increase. Although volumes are down 19 percent compared to the previous year’s import boom, the positive trend reflects a gradual recovery. S.C. Ports is investing in a near-port intermodal hub to support future growth. 

The South Carolina Port’s strategic investments in expanding capacity and enhancing infrastructure have positioned it to maintain competitiveness and foster economic growth. 

Overall, the logistics and freight landscape show signs of recovery as the import and export shipping volume is shifting toward to pre-COVID levels. The surge in port expansions and investment in infrastructure across the U.S. indicate a positive trend in global trade and economic activity. 

 Learn how GSC can meet your drayage and logistics needs here. 


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