fbpx
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
Home » Ports » Georgia Ports expect 30-40% drop in imports due to coronavirus impact

Georgia Ports expect 30-40% drop in imports due to coronavirus impact

PortandTerminal.com, February 27, 2020

SAVANNAH, GA – Shipments into the Georgia state’s ports are expected to drop up to 40% in March and April, according to projections by the agency that manages that traffic.

Cuts and closures in Chinese production since the outbreak of the virus about six weeks ago has not yet been felt here, but that is about to change, according to Griffith Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

“We do see quite an impact,” he said. “We’ve been shut down by hurricanes for six days or a week. But this is really unprecedented.”

Pie chart showing the market share of east coast ports for container traffic
In FY2019, GPA says Savannah had 21-percent of the port market share on the U.S. East Coast. One of out every five East Coast containers comes through Georgia Ports.

Virtually all of that anticipated drop is linked to China, Georgia’s largest trading partner. Last year, the state imported about $19.8 billion in goods from China, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Among the goods imported from China are seats, toys, furniture and floor coverings.

“We’ve been shut down by hurricanes for six days or a week. But this is really unprecedented.”

Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Georgia Ports has 1,360 employees, most of them at the ports in Savannah and Brunswick, but tens of thousands of others work for shipping and trucking companies.

READ: Georgia Ports unveils major expansion plans

The coming chill in business would threaten those jobs, but only if the virus-related problems continue for more than a few months, Lynch said. “Because it’s a spot issue, I think we’ll see the jobs safe, but they will work fewer hours and there will be no overtime.”

There is about a 30-day lag between the time a ship leaves China and its arrival on the coast of Georgia. That is why the ports have yet to feel the impact of the virus. And when manufacturing ramps up, it will likewise take about a month for normality to return at the ports.

“It’s going to be a difficult time, but hopefully it is going to be short-lived,” Lynch said.

The long-range impact of the virus is still uncertain. While many Chinese factories have reopened, production is reportedly still less than half its normal levels since many plants do not have their full staff.

Moreover, production in other Asian countries – especially South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, — depends on parts that come from China. And those countries too are now dealing with the spread of the disease itself.

Other articles you may find interesting

Copyright © 2019 PortandTerminal.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Check Also

Smoke rises from the scene of the explosion in the seaport of Beirut

9 people are still missing after Beirut port explosion

PortandTerminal.com, September 20, 2020 BEIRUT – The Lebanese army announced Saturday that nine people are …

Screen grab. Fire. Smoke. Nightime

Video: Explosions and Fire at Italian Port of Ancona

PortandTerminal.com, September 16, 2020 Explosions and fire rips through Italian port of Ancona overnight ANCONA, …