Source: Port Authorities.
Gateway ports of the North American East Coast have experienced a renewed dynamic with the growth of global trade and all-water services with Asia through the Panama Canal. This trend was mostly played out between 2002 and 2008. The port of Savannah benefited substantially from this trend and experienced strong growth; by 2008 it handled about 2.6 million TEU. After a decline to 2.3 M TEU in 2009 related to the financial crisis, traffic recovered to 3.6 M TEU in 2016. Then traffic surged to 5.9 M TEU in 2022. Savannah surpassed competing ports, namely Charleston and Hampton Roads to become the most important East Coast port after New York. However, New York is essentially a local cargo port with the bulk of its traffic related to the metropolitan area, especially imports. An important factor behind Savannah’s growth is the dynamism of its logistics cluster and the strong export function of the port.