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Over 40 ships anchored offshore waiting to enter Port of Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – A bottleneck at Savannah’s ports. Roughly 40 ships as of Friday are anchored offshore waiting to dock.

The backup comes after congestion at West Coast ports has forced some shippers to send their cargo to Savannah. Port officials say the increased ship traffic has put a significant burden on port staff.

The global race to fix pandemic-era supply chain shortages is bringing an onslaught of traffic to Savannah’s ports.

“As busy as the whole supply chain has been, the burden on Savannah to play a role in handling all that cargo has grown. It’s grown well beyond what could’ve been forecasted for 2022,” Georgia Ports Authority Chief Administrative Officer Jamie McCurry said.

Port leaders here say congestion and labor concerns at West Coast ports are continuing.

“Which has caused shippers to redirect cargo to the East Coast, a lot of that has come to Savannah,” McCurry said.

McCurry said the increase has added to an already busy schedule. This comes just days after the Port of Savannah reported record-breaking cargo volumes last fiscal year.

“We have over 100,000 container slots on terminal now. A year ago, we had about 80, so that’s continuing to grow. We’re prepared and we’re going to stay prepared,” McCurry said.

But McCurry says the upcoming holiday shopping season could also add to the volume.

“The shippers have seen the negative impacts of not having sufficient inventories for the holidays and some key buying seasons, so they have advanced orders ahead of schedule, so they don’t see those same delays in serving their customers in the future.”

Even though McCurry says the increased traffic has been a burden, they hope to fix that backlog in the coming months to reduce any further delays.

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