Georgia Ports Authority

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Georgia Ports Authority
Abbreviation GPA
Type agency
Headquarters Savannah, Georgia, United States
Chairman of the board
Robert S. Jepson Jr.[1]

The Georgia Ports Authority was founded in 1945,[2] operates port facilities in the US state of Georgia.

Georgia’s primary deepwater ports are located in Savannah and Brunswick, supplemented by inland barge operations in Bainbridge and Columbus.[3]

The Authority is controlled by a thirteen-member Board of Directors, which is appointed by the Governor, from the state at large, to serve four-year, staggered terms.[4] The GPA employs more than 1,000 people statewide.[5]

The Port of Savannah, home to the largest single-terminal container facility of its kind in North America,[6] is made up of two modern, deepwater terminals: Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal.

  • Garden City Terminal is the fourth-busiest container handling facility in the United States, encompassing more than 1,200 acres and moving millions of tons of containerized cargo annually.[7]
  • Ocean Terminal, Savannah’s dedicated breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off facility, covers 200.4 acres and has more than 1.4 million square feet of covered storage.[8]

The Port of Brunswick includes three GPA-owned deepwater terminals, two of which are directly operated by the GPA. The port is one of the fastest growing auto and heavy machinery ports in North America.[9]

  • Colonel’s Island Terminal has three roll-on/roll-off berths and four on-terminal auto processors, handling cargo for more than 60 auto and heavy machinery manufacturers. The terminal is also home to a bulk export/import operation.[10]
  • Mayor’s Point Terminal specializes in handling forest products, while Marine Port Terminals, operated by Logistec U.S.A., specializes in the handling of breakbulk and bulk commodities.[11]

Economic Impact[edit]

According to a study by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, port-related industry supports more than 369,000 full- and part-time jobs across the state, yielding $20 billion in personal income each year.[12]

This business activity generates more than $84 billion in annual sales, or 9.6 percent of Georgia’s total sales.[12]

In Fiscal Year 2016 alone, port-related manufacturing and logistics companies announced more than half a billion dollars in investment, bringing nearly 3,500 jobs and well over 5 million square feet of development to the state.[13]

In 2015, the Port of Savannah handled 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports along with 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume.[14]


Investments in upgraded cranes, lighting and other equipment reduce fuel consumption and air-polluting emissions. For instance, moving to electric rubber tired gantry cranes for container handling reduces GPA’s carbon footprint by 96 percent per crane. Once the RTG fleet is switched completely to electric power, GPA will avoid the use of 2.7 million gallons of diesel each year.[15]

The Georgia Ports Authority has received a 2016 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for its electric rubber-tired gantry crane program that will transfer its container handling equipment from diesel fuel to electric power.[16]

To reduce light spill and glare, the 1,200-acre Garden City Terminal now uses a computer-controlled lighting system and efficient fixtures that direct light downward, where it’s needed. The project saves 8.7 million kilowatt hours per year and cuts annual CO2 emissions by 3,569 metric tons, with a projected 10-year energy cost savings of $4.9 million.[17][18]


  1. ^ Jepson Elected GPA Board Chairman June 25, 2012. Accessed June 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "This Day in Georgia History - Georgia Ports Authority Created - GeorgiaInfo". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  3. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > Media > Publications > Gateway To The World". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  4. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > About > GPA Board Members". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Lauren (2016-01-07). "GPA turns spotlight on employees". BiS | Business in Savannah News. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Port of Savannah adds 4 cranes for loading giant cargo ships". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  7. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Garden City Terminal". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  8. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > Port of Savannah > Ocean Terminal". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  9. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > Port of Brunswick". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  10. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > Port of Brunswick > Colonel's Island Terminal: Agri-Bulk". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  11. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > Port of Brunswick > Mayor's Point Terminal". Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  12. ^ a b Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > About > Economic Impact". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  13. ^ Contributors, Site Selection. "The Future of Free Zones | Site Selection Magazine". Site Selection. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  14. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "GPA achieves record, double-digit growth in December". Georgia Ports Authority. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  15. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "GPA completes latest fuel-saving eRTG phase". Georgia Ports Authority. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  16. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "GPA wins EPA Clean Air Award". Georgia Ports Authority. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  17. ^ "GreenPort | Musco lights up Georgia". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  18. ^ Authority, Georgia Ports. "Georgia Ports Authority > About > Sustainability > Community & Operations". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 

External links[edit]