SUPERIOR PORTS Prominent among Georgia’s logis- tics assets is the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), a major driver of jobs and busi- ness opportunities in the state. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge ter- minals support some 500,000 jobs and contribute $29 billion in income annu- ally in Georgia. The ports generate $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes. The Port of Savannah handled 9.3% of total U.S. containerized cargo vol- ume and 10.5% of all U.S. containerized exports in the 2020 scal year, GPA reports. Behind those numbers is an impressive record of service. “GPA provides greater scheduling exi- bility and market reach through Savannah, with 35 weekly containership services, direct interstate connections, and on-ter- minal rail,” explains GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Intermodal service is provided by Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern. “The Port of Savannah is closest and fastest by rail to the major population centers of Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte, Huntsville, and Birmingham,” he adds. “On-terminal service from two Class I railroads means more schedule and routing choices.” A major expansion project, the Mason Mega Rail Terminal, has increased the
Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 2 million TEUs per year, Lynch reports. As the most westerly major container port on the U.S. East Coast, Savannah is poised to take advantage of its broad global shipping network and enhanced rail capac- ity to provide expanded intermodal service to major inland markets. This stronger rail link will provide customers a new opportu- nity to take advantage of Savannah’s timely, reliable terminal services. Additionally, the Port of Savannah enjoys superior truck connections. Immediate access to I-16 (East/West) and I-95 (North/South) means key cit- ies and manufacturing points throughout the U.S. Southeast and Midwest may be reached within a one- to two-day drive. RESPONSIVENESS TO CHANGE Lynch says the increasing role of dig- italization in shipping has strongly affected GPA’s approach to its work. “Traditionally, the data used by the terminal operator is inclusive of the waterside operations, and lacking on the landside,” he says. “GPA strives to improve the sharing of data and knowl- edge with the landside operations to improve the ow of cargo from berth to store. “This is a pioneering effort, not stan- dardized, and is gaining traction every day,” Lynch adds.
“If you are employing Georgians, we are going to work with you as you continue to grow,” he says. “You have become part of the Georgia family of companies.” That ongoing sense of community and partnership is “truly a differentia- tor for the state,” he says. “That’s what sets Georgia apart.” Georgia seeks to be a place where people want to “live, work, play, and enjoy their lives,” he adds. “For 150 years, the reason the econ- omy has boomed in Georgia is logistics,” Wilson says. “Throughout our his- tory, we’ve had governors and General Assemblies that have made investment in logistics a priority.” The state’s logistics assets reect these efforts: • Two international airports— Hartseld-Jackson Atlanta and Savannah/Hilton Head—and nine of the top 10 cargo airlines in the world. • Both of the Eastern U.S. Class I rail- roads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, along with 24 short-line railroads. • Two deep-water ports, Savannah— the fastest-growing port in the United States—and Brunswick. • Six U.S. interstates—1,200 miles of highway—connecting shippers to 80% of the country in two days or less driving time.
The Georgia Ports Authority achieved a record level of container trade in 2021, handling more than 5.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units of cargo. By June 2022, the GPA will grow the Port of Savannah’s annual container capacity by 1.6 million TEUs.
64 Inbound Logistics • March 2022
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