Georgia Ports Authority Hosts Dutch Royals, Explores Future of Global Trade

Georgia Ports Authority Hosts Dutch Royals, Explores Future of Global Trade
(photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority)

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of The Netherlands were warmly welcomed by Griff Lynch, President and CEO of the Georgia Ports Authority, during their visit to the Port of Savannah today. The royal couple, on a three-day working visit to the United States, toured the port, America’s third busiest for container traffic.

The visit included a comprehensive tour of the Garden City Terminal, known for its nine berths and handling 37 vessel calls weekly. The royal delegation also visited the Mason Mega Rail facility, the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, which transfers containers from vessels to doublestack trains in record time.

Discussions during the visit focused on Sustainable Port Development and Hinterland Connectivity, topics of mutual interest for the Netherlands, home to the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest and the world’s tenth-busiest container port. Rotterdam serves as a crucial gateway to Europe and the Baltic region, handling 13.45 million TEUs in 2023.

“We are honored to welcome His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima, and their Dutch business delegation, to the Port of Savannah,” said Mr. Lynch. The visit underscored the strategic relationship between the Ports of Savannah and Rotterdam, highlighted by direct container services and growing trade volumes.

Georgia is the Netherlands’ tenth-largest U.S. trade partner, with bilateral trade totaling $3.9 billion annually. The ports of Savannah and Brunswick are integral to Georgia’s role as a logistics hub, facilitating trade with the Southeast U.S. region.

Looking ahead, the Georgia Ports Authority plans to expand container throughput capacity to 12 million TEUs by 2030, emphasizing sustainability initiatives such as modal shift from truck to rail and investments in eco-friendly equipment.

The royal visit aimed to foster collaboration on addressing environmental, social, and infrastructure challenges in port operations. Dutch Ambassador Birgitta Tazelaar highlighted the importance of ongoing cooperation between the Netherlands and Georgia in global supply chain infrastructure.

During calendar year 2023, the Port of Savannah handled 36,846 TEUs in trade with the Netherlands, marking a 9% increase from the previous year. Key export categories included automotive, food, and machinery, appliances & electronics.

The visit concluded with optimism for future collaborations between the Netherlands and Georgia, leveraging their respective strengths in global trade and logistics.