Editorial - 9/16/13

Our Coastal Region relies primarily on four economic-growth elements: our manufacturing core, all-season destination-tourism, our terrific military installations and members, and our world-class port.  The continuing strength of Georgia's ports, in Savannah and Brunswick, was the subject of an excellent presentation made last week by GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz, hosted by the Savannah Propeller Club.

Fiscal Year 2013was the second busiest ever, second only to 2012, and on-track for a new record, except for an issue beyond our port's control.  Georgia's ports hosted an average of 37 container-vessel calls per week, a close number-two along the East Coast to New York/New Jersey.  But GPA's 27 ship-to-shore cranes are the most of any port/terminal complex in the U.S., with the massive Garden City terminal now the single-largest  container terminal facility in the nation.

Georgia's ports serve as the "Gateway to American Commerce," with a rapid distribution and reception region directly-serving 44% of the nation's population.  Closer to home, one in twelve jobs throughout Georgia is port-related, accounting for a total of 352,000 jobs overall, a significant employment impact.  With regard to continued economic growth, a major  contributor will be the anticipated Savannah harbor-deepening, necessary to accommodate Post-Panamax vessels, vital to maintaining the competitive- attraction of our global-destination port.  Congratulations to GPA Board Chair Bob Jepson, Executive Director Curtis Foltz, ILA President Willie Seymore, and their respective teams, for another outstanding year of performance and growth, directly impacting the continued economic-vitality of our region.