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Georgia Ports Seeing Growth From West Coast Labor Problems

CORRECTS DATE TO TUESDAY OCT. 7, 2014 The container ship Zim Istanbul makes it's way up the Savannah River past historic River Street in Savannah, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, to the Port of Savannah. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed an agreement today allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the long-sought deepening of the Savannah harbor using $266 million in state money. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
CORRECTS DATE TO TUESDAY OCT. 7, 2014 The container ship Zim Istanbul makes it's way up the Savannah River past historic River Street in Savannah, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, to the Port of Savannah. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed an agreement today allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the long-sought deepening of the Savannah harbor using $266 million in state money. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Credit Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press
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Georgia’s seaports handled record-breaking cargo volumes in the first half of the 2015 fiscal year in part because of labor disputes that have bogged down trade on the West Coast.

The Georgia Ports Authority reported Monday that overall cargo tonnage in Savannah and Brunswick was up nearly 7 percent in the six-month period from July 1 through Dec. 31. Savannah, the nation’s fourth-busiest container port, handled 1.75 million cargo containers, an increase of more than 13 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Curtis Foltz, the port authority’s executive director, attributed a chunk of that growth to shippers diverting imports of retail goods to the East Coast as ports on the West Coast have struggled with congestion after months of unresolved contract talks with dockworkers.