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Private investment and port expansion central to Georgia growth plan

The Port of Savannah is the busiest export port in the US
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The Georgia Port Authority (GPA) has announced Medline Industries and FedEx will build facilities near the Port of Savannah as it continues to invest heavily on infrastructure expansions.

During its first ever virtual State of the Port, the GPA said medical goods provider Medline Industries will build a 1.2 million square foot facility which is expected to be complete in late-2021. FedEx will lease 415,000 square feet to provide e-commerce capabilities.

This will see Medline and FedEx join other private companies already using the Port as their main export gateway in Georgia, such Hooker Furniture, MSI Tile, World Shipping, the Georgia Exports Company and Huali Floors.

Will McKnight, chairman of the GPA board, said the Port was critical to attracting business to the state and wider region and had initiated several infrastructure expansions.

“We’re making strategic expansions to ensure cargo fluidity as Savannah’s container trade increases,” McKnight said. “Our long-term infrastructure investments ensure GPA is ready when our customers are ready to grow.”

Among these are an expansion to the Savannah Harbor and the Mason Mega Rail Project, both of which are designed to increase TEU capacity.

There are other projects, including work to the Ocean City Terminal to make it handle smaller vessels and straightening the berth at the Garden City Terminal so it can handle four vessels of 15,000 TEU at once.

In a recorded statement, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said private development projects delivering thousands of jobs and millions of square feet of industrial space mean the long-term outlook for Georgia’s ports is strong.

“Over the past year, our nation has faced unprecedented challenges that have impacted our daily lives and our economy,” Kemp said.

“We’ve had to rethink how we handle the logistics of healthcare, retail, manufacturing – and the global trade that supports these endeavours. Through it all, our ports have remained steady, keeping cargo moving, attracting investment, and building market share.”

The GPA’s projects will build upon the relative stability the GPA has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Q1 of Fiscal Year 2021 (July-September), the Port of Savannah handled 1.2 million TEU an increase of 1.6% year-on-year. Furthermore, the Port set a monthly record in September, growing TEU by 11.4%, or 42,140, for a total of 412,148 TEU in September.

Griff Lynch, GPA’s executive director, said: “We appreciate the decisions of cargo owners to place their trust in Georgia. As our economy recovers, customers continue to be attracted by Savannah’s strong fundamentals – including the people who make our ports work.

“I want to thank our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and our many partners across the logistics industry for their dedication to service.”

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