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Portside: Largest ship ever to call on Port of Savannah expected today

  • Georgia Ports Authority employees help to unload 53 cases of bottled water collected by Jimmy Hogan, far right, a member of the International Longshoremen’s Association on Wednesday. The GPA is collecting hurricane relief supplies through today to send to Houston storm victims. (Georgia Ports Authority photo)

Today might be a good day to have a late lunch on River Street or across the river on Hutchinson Island. As of this writing, the massive CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is due in port between 3:30 and 4:30 Friday afternoon, putting it in front of City Hall sometime between 2:30 and 3:30.

The largest ship ever to call on the East Coast, the 1,200-foot-long Roosevelt can carry up to 14,400 twenty-foot equivalent units — or TEUs — the standard measure for the container industry.

Sailing to Savannah from Norfolk, the ship’s first East Coast port of call, the Roosevelt will leave Sunday for Charleston, then the Port of New York/New Jersey, where it will take part in a ceremony to inaugurate the new Bayonne Bridge.

The bridge was recently raised to allow for the larger Neopanamax ships now coming through the Panama Canal’s new locks. The Roosevelt will be the first such ship to call on New York/New Jersey.

For Georgia Ports Authority, the Roosevelt represents the 13th container ship with a capacity of 13,000 TEUs or more to call Garden City Terminal since the COSCO Development arrived in May.

“This has become our new norm,” GPA executive director Griff Lynch said, adding that the Roosevelt represents the second Neopanamax ship in port this week.

“In fact, both Tuesday and Wednesday, we had 25 of 26 big ship-to-shore cranes working, with eight ships in port at once.

“Our volumes are really cranking and the ILA and our crane operators are doing a great job handling all of it.”

Lynch said he anticipates the possibility of reaching a record 55,000 crane lifts this week

“As we continue into our peak season, we are hitting record lift counts almost every week,” he said. “I think, at some point, I expect to reach 58,000 lifts, which annualizes to 5.5 million TEUs.”

While peak-season lifts won’t occur year-round, the takeaway is that GPA has proven it’s capable of handling that volume without any loss of efficiency.

Lynch said he’s also looking at the possibility that the Roosevelt could be GPA’s first ship to utilize seven cranes working at once.

Giving back

While the Port of Savannah is bustling these days, they aren’t too busy to remember what their colleagues in Texas are going through.

“Think about what we went through less than a year ago with Matthew and then multiply that by at least 10, maybe 20,” Lynch said, adding that he has been in touch with his counterpart at the Port of Houston, offering to help any way he can.

To that end, GPA has been collecting disaster supplies this week to send to the Port of Houston.

Collections continue today through 3 p.m. at GPA’s administration building, 2 Main Street in Garden City.

Over the weekend, supplies will be loaded into two containers that shipper Hapag Lloyd has volunteered to put on a barge bound for Houston.

The following new, unopened and unexpired supplies are needed:Diapers and wet wipes

Wrapped cases of bottled water

Non-perishable food items (in boxes and cans only)

New blanket and pillows

Rubber gloves

Contractor grade garbage bags

Quality respirator masks

Large plastic totes

Paper towels and toilet paper.

No monetary donations, nor liquids other than water, can be accepted.

Senior business reporter Mary Carr Mayle covers the ports for the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow. She can be reached at 912-652-0324 or at mary.mayle@savannahnow.com.

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Ships Schedule

Following are the ships expected to call on Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City and Ocean terminals this week. Schedules are supplied by GPA and are subject to change.

TERMINAL VESSEL ETA

GCT NYK RUMINA Today

GCT NYK DAEDALUS Today

GCT SAINT NIKOLAOS Today

GCT MAERSK WEYMOUTH Today

GCT MAERSK MEMPHIS Today

GCT PALENA Today

GCT CMA CGM ATTILA Today

GCT CMA CGM T. ROOSEVELT Today

GCT CMA CGM IVANHOE Saturday

GCT HOUSTON BRIDGE Saturday

GCT HYUNDAI MERCURY Saturday

GCT CMA CGM NERVAL Saturday

GCT IBRAHIM DEDE Saturday

GCT MSC KOLKATA Saturday

GCT CMA CGM LA TRAVIATA Saturday

GCT CSL VIRGINIA Sunday

GCT BILBAO BRIDGE Sunday

GCT CHARLESTON EXPRESS Sunday

GCT MSC VANESSA Sunday

GCT MSC MARS Sunday

GCT MAERSK KOWLOON Sunday

GCT COLUMBIA ELIZABETH Sunday

GCT MOL BRAVO Sunday

GCT MSC MONICA Tuesday

GCT WASHINGTON EXPRESS Tuesday

GCT MSC MAXINE Tuesday

GCT ZIM BARCELONA Tuesday

GCT ZIM TARRAGONA Tuesday

GCT MSC SAVANNAH Tuesday

GCT MAERSK DENVER Tuesday

GCT MOL MAJESTY Tuesday

GCT MAERSK KURE Tuesday

GCT MAERSK DHAHRAN Tuesday

GCT MAERSK SHANGHAI Tuesday

GCT APL HOLLAND Tuesday

OT BBC THAMES Tuesday

OT COS ORCHID Tuesday

OT BAHRI YANBU Tuesday

GCT JAN Wednesday

GCT BROTONNE BRIDGE Thursday

GCT YM MODERATION Thursday

GCT MOL EXPERIENCE Thursday

GCT MSC KARLSKRONA Thursday

GCT ZIM ANTWERP Thursday

GCT CMA CGM J. ADAMS Thursday

OT TUGELA Thursday

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