Updates from the GPA email handle (they provide daily updates, usually multiple times a day):
UPDATE: March 24, 2020
Dear friends & colleagues,
Amid the global disruptions related to COVID-19, the GPA is receiving numerous calls and emails seeking answers to two basic questions. First, customers are requesting to know if our ports are open and will remain operational. Second, does the GPA have additional storage space, if required. I would like to take a moment to answer both of these questions.
Georgia’s ports continue steady operation with normal, 24-hour vessel operations and terminal services, as well as Monday-Friday truck gate hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Savannah.
To keep cargo moving smoothly, we have implemented an “Isolate and Operate” strategy. The 1,300-acre size of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is enabling our Leadership Team to spread our workers out and minimize the risk of possible exposure.
Operationally, we are redesigning staffing and procedures, such as assigning operators to specific cranes and having them report directly to the machinery. All break rooms and group meeting areas have been closed.
As a preventive measure, GPA is providing disinfectants to equipment operators, who have been instructed to wipe down their controls at the beginning and end of each shift. We are implementing deep cleaning of equipment and facilities. Additionally, GPA is strongly encouraging all employees to practice thorough hand washing and social distancing at work and at home.
Where possible, staff members are telecommuting. In fact, our entire customer service team is working offsite via technology that was established at GPA in case of hurricanes.
Our Leadership and Operations teams remain on terminal to ensure this vitally important gateway continues to run smoothly. Because this is a time for the port community to come together, we are also in continuous communication with our colleagues at neighboring ports to determine best practices.
Our partners at the International Longshoremen’s Association have started monitoring the temperature of union members as they report to work. Those with a temperature or other symptoms of illness will be sent home. The Authority is also securing equipment to start temperature monitoring of port employees prior to shift.
Using our Isolate and Operate strategy, we are working day and night to protect our employees, our partners in the ILA and all the truckers, contractors, vendors and others who work on our terminals daily.
Looking forward, I want to reassure you we are well positioned to deliver powerful support, assisting the flow of import/export cargo, and empty return containers.
As the country’s third busiest port complex, we clearly understand the importance of keeping our ports operational through this crisis to support the needs of our customers and the nation. Because of recently completed projects that are now coming online, our container terminal has additional storage space, and we stand prepared to meet our customers’ needs at the challenging time.
The GPA would like to thank our employees, the State of Georgia and many partners, including the ILA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, stevedores, the trucking community and river pilots for pulling together to keep our ports moving full steam ahead.
Savannah and its surrounding areas:
Stay inside standing order for non-essential tasks and personnel within the workforce.
Fulton Co (Atlanta):
9PM to 7AM curfew (doesn’t apply to essential jobs)