Georgia Port Authority ‘all-in’ on building best gateway
Two-pillar growth strategy of Georgia Port Authority focuses on containers, Ro/Ro
Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) leaders presented an update on the port’s $1.9 billion master plan and infrastructure investments at the Savannah State of the Port event on October 12, 2023.
“As economic engines for the state and our gateways to the global market, the ports in Savannah and Brunswick are essential to maintaining Georgia’s unprecedented and decade-long status as the No. 1 state for business,” says Governor Brian Kemp. “Job creators consistently cite the Peach State’s responsible government, top-ranked workforce training programme, and world-class infrastructure as key reasons the state has held this title and for the record trade and commerce our state has enjoyed. I’m thankful the GPA is making strategic moves to keep it that way.”
Kent Fountain, Chairman, GPA adds: “We’re getting ready for the next upswing of cargo. Every company needs access to a competitive port system. Governor Kemp’s leadership is helping us achieve this through a pro-business approach with a strong economic development team which continues to attract and win major companies to the Peach State. Ports are huge economic engines for growth, and we are ensuring Georgia ports grow in a responsible, intelligent way for the future and bring the community along with us to benefit from new jobs and philanthropic partnerships.”
Source shifting in Southeast Asia – as customers and ocean carriers respond to a “China plus one” sourcing trend – also favours the U.S. East Coast delivery, says an official release. "Southeast Asia shipping routes to the U.S. East Coast via the Suez Canal are five days faster than U.S. West Coast routings.
"The growth of India, with an expanding consumer class, represents new business opportunities for GPA customers. About a dozen weekly India services currently call GPA. Equally important, more global supply chains have shifted from the U.S. West Coast to the U.S. East Coast with East Coast ports now handling 54 percent of the nation’s global trade."
Griff Lynch, President and CEO, GPA says: “We need to be ready for future economic cycles. We’re talking to customers and designing a gateway port and inland supply chain that meets their long-term requirements. We’re all-in on this. The decisions we make will decide who we become as we prepare for the next wave of future cargo. Savannah’s ocean carrier customers are upsizing their vessels; 80 percent of the container ships entering the port are 11,000 TEU or larger.”
GPA handled volumes of 5.4 million TEU for FY2023, and forecasts 4-6 percent growth for the coming years. "At the Port of Brunswick, Roll-on/Roll-off cargo hit a record in FY2023, leading GPA to an overall growth of 17.7 percent over the previous year, at 723,515 units."
Georgia’s ports and inland terminals support more than 561,000 jobs throughout the state annually, and contribute $33 billion in income, $140 billion in revenue and $3.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy, the release added.