Yesterday’s article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (http://www.ajc.com/news/business/savannah-port-to-get-more-deepening-money-governor/nSryM/) talks about the benefits of the deepening of the Port of Savannah. While it’s easy in Metro Atlanta to measure the economic impact of new football stadium, I can imagine for many in Atlanta, the southeast, and beyond, the ‘benefits’ of spending millions of dollars on a port hundreds of miles away can seem fuzzy at best.
This article attributes 100,000 jobs directly to Port. It got me thinking about how many more are indirectly impacted by the port. In a previous US Today article the freight that comes through this port is over 500,000 annual containers and touches 15 states, 44% of the US population.
The Georgia Port Authority lists the employment impact of the port at over 350,000 jobs.
There are many important indirect job-creation benefits beyond the direct jobs data cited above. In addition to better access to export markets for Georgia manufacturers via a stronger port in Savannah, let’s also consider those full containers coming into the port. Using East West’s containers as an example, they are loaded with high-value, engineered components and assemblies destined for manufacturers in GA and across the US. This strategic sourcing helps manufacturers compete, add value to their customers, and hire more employees here at home. East West’s containers include electric motors, electronics, plastic injection molded parts, ductile iron, stainless steel, industrial textile, rubber, and other sub-assemblies and components that are manufactured not just in China, but also in emerging manufacturing markets like Vietnam and India.
So in spite of a sluggish and challenging business climate, I am bullish on Georgia and the positive economic impact the Port of Savannah will continue to have across the southeast region and beyond.