Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz announced that the GPA continued to experience positive growth during the month of March and has recorded four consecutive months of double-digit growth through its ports.

Overall tonnage for March 2010 reported gains of 24.9 percent, which brings the GPA’s fiscal year-to-date (July 2009 through March 2010) volume to a 4.9-percent increase compared with the same time period last year. Container volume showed strong growth, posting a 32.5-percent increase in twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs compared with the same period last year for a total of 227,860 TEUs in March 2010.

“The increased cargo passing through our ports may signal that consumers are beginning to purchase again,” said Foltz. “Our growth in both imports and exports indicates that overall recovery is taking hold.”

Containerized import throughput increased 45.3 percent for a total of 112,233 TEUs in March 2010 compared with March 2009. While commodity statistics are not available yet for March, there have been substantial increases for retailers of general merchandise, home improvement, electronics and appliances compared with March 2009. Furniture has seen moderate improvements compared with this time last year. Export throughput remained strong as well with an increase of 22 percent for a total of 115,628 TEUs.

At the Port of Brunswick, the movement of auto and machinery units has also experienced growth for the past four months. Colonel’s Island Terminal moved 31,417 total units in March 2010, which is a 54.8-percent increase compared with March 2009.

“We’ve survived an extremely tough time by doing a great job of capturing additional market share as the strategic hub for shippers and beneficial cargo owners in the South Atlantic,” said GPA’s Chairman of the Board Stephen S. Green. “The GPA’s growth is a byproduct of the GPA’s excellent marketing, operations and facilities.”