Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced today at its board meeting that the second quarter of FY2010 (October – December 2009) yielded a 3.6-percent increase in total Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers (TEUs) compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

“Georgia’s ports are beginning to experience positive signs that the new shipping lines and capacity we added during the economic downturn are driving growth,” said Foltz. “The continued surge in demand for our export commodities is creating opportunities for trade.”

Foltz reported that export volumes for December 2009 increased by 11.4 percent. Loaded import containers also increased by eight percent. Total TEUs handled for the month of December were 217,643, an 18.2-percent increase compared with December 2008.

“The GPA remains cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the current fiscal year,” said GPA’s Chairman of the Board Stephen S. Green. “Our strategic planning has ensured that Georgia’s deepwater ports are prepared to handle the growth demands necessary to advance economic development and opportunity.”

In Brunswick, Colonel’s Island reported record tonnage of 185,424 last month due to increasing volumes in grain for export. This represents an almost four-fold increase compared with December 2008 and yielded a year-to-date increase of 37.5 percent. Auto and machinery units thru Brunswick for the month of December increased by 47 percent, but were still down for the fiscal year by 10.4 percent.

Additionally, safety performance throughout GPA’s terminals showed significant improvements for the first half of FY2010 compared with last year, including a 20-percent reduction in chargeable accidents.