Georgia Ports Authority adding 55 Hybrid Yard Cranes, will cause 50% fewer emissions

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s a product that’s being described as the electric car for the cargo industry that leaders hope will boost capacity at Savannah’s port.

“We’re adding these rubber-tired gantry cranes that service containers in the yard, that service both the ships and our front-end customers the truck drivers. And we’ve gone with these hybrid, rubber-tired gantry cranes. It’s the first time for us,” said Griff Lynch, the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

The Georgia Ports Authority has placed an order for 55 Hybrid Yard Cranes or RTG’s to move shipping containers.

Executive Director Griff Lynch says the new machines, along with other port expansion, will help fix supply chain issues.

“We’re going all in. We’re doubling down and we’re going to create more capacity. We’re talking about a 50% increase in our ship and container capacity over the next 2 years.”

The port says the new cranes will use electric battery power causing 50% fewer emissions than similar diesel machines...leading to $1.6 million in savings per year.

“These new RTGs being battery powered will save - eliminate the use of 500,000 gallons a year of diesel.”

The massive investment comes at a time of slowdown for the port.

Lynch says cargo volume in February was down 14% year over year but was still the second busiest month the port has ever seen.

“We’re using this slowdown as a time to kind of recalibrate, build the projects we need to build, make sure when it comes back we’re ready to go.”

The cranes will be placed in the port’s soon to be renovated Ocean Terminal that Lynch says will ultimately help get more products from cargo ships to store shelves.

“We want to make sure that those goods get to the stores on time so that people that live in and around our neighborhoods can go to the stores and know that those goods will be there. So that’s what this is all about.”

The ports authority says diesel generators will be running only to recharge the crane’s batteries.

The port is also adding space so that more ships can dock here at once.

Lynch says these projects are helping them invest ahead of expected future growth.