Savannah State of the Port Address Recap
- September 16, 2019
The Georgia Port Authority has a great deal to be proud of and they shared this with us at the Annual State of the Port Address on Sept. 12th. In true Savannah fashion, the event started with a networking event in the morning. We drank coffee and shook hands with our teams, our customers and our competitors. When we settled into our tables the program began with the pledge allegiance and a blessing. Every speaker, including Governor Deal made mention of the miracle rescue that took place in Brunswick and took a moment to recognize the tragic events of Sept. 11, honoring our promise to never forget.
After recognizing our public officials in house, GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch dove into the facts and figures for the last fiscal year.
We are now 3rd in the nation for T.E.U. (twenty-foot equivalent Unit) volume giving us a 21% market share. This is 25% increase over 2018 and we are +6.4% for the last 10 years. The GPA plans to double the Garden City Terminal’s annual capacity from 5.5 million to 11 million TEUS. This expansion will include a new container port on Hutchinson Island and will aide us in keeping up with the container trade.
The Inner harbor phase of the river deepening is starting now, thanks in part to 100 million dollars allocated by the federal government. They brought up an interesting point about larger ship coming to the area. We will likely need to raise the bridge or provide an alternative.
The Port is developing dual rail service from the Port of Savannah to Chicago, reducing the duration of the trip to 3 days. We are closer to Chicago than the West Coast ports, however further by ship for most exporters. By reducing the train time, we equal or beat the time it will take to get product from Chicago.
In 2019 developers added 10.75 million square feet of industrial space, totally 67.7 million square feet. Even with the 19 percent increase the vacancy was only 1.47 percent. We have 20,000 acres available for development in a 30-mile radius of port.
A 1.5 million sq. ft facility to develop resins opens in October.
Over 30,000 jobs and $7.5 billion in new projects and business expansions happened in the last year. 12,500 jobs and $5 billion in investment were port related.
The GPA rolled out a new program to hire high school graduates and give them logistics training. This year they have 6 students in the program.
New cranes are being built for the port for the first time in the Untied States. A company in Florida will be providing the cranes.
15 new refer racks and Gate 18 are all complete now.
The Appalachian Regional Port that the GPA opened will soon be hosting a new plant from General Electric 2020
The GPA attributes much of their success in the way they treat small businesses. They believe that by treating every small business with the same exemplary service that big business receive they will continue to grow. They also mentioned teamwork as a part of their model for success. Georgia has a spirit of working together to compete nationally rather than internally. Georgia will continue to see growth and keep reaching for more.