Savannah, GA ー A Global Commerce Hub

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As NFI continues to enhance its port network in the East, Savannah, GA, is emerging as a top import logistics and distribution market. The area is an import hotspot with one of the nation’s busiest and fastest-growing ports, centricity to significant markets, and intricate interstate highway access. 

Savannah is a cosmopolitan community with a European flair and “good bones,” as exhibited by its strong business community and advanced infrastructure. Savannah continues to improve its business environment by infusing the area with advantages that benefit its primary industries, which include manufacturing, logistics, port operations, and innovative technology.

East Coast Centricity

Georgia’s ideal geographic location makes Savannah an excellent hub to serve operations throughout North America, with fundamental access to the entire East Coast. 

Logistics and Distribution

Savannah is attractive for many reasons, offering over 90 million square feet of industrial and warehousing space with 12 million square feet of new inventory under construction. The market continues to attract the attention of large nationwide developers as the current number one market in the country for industrial/distribution development. [1] With five distribution centers and over 2 million square feet already owned in Savannah, NFI is expanding its footprint by opening a new Savannah transload and cross-docking facility in collaboration with Georgia Ports Authority, slated to be completed spring 2023. This facility will cover 90 acres of land and will be served by a yard with nine electric rubber-tired gantry cranes and provide an annual capacity of 400,000 TEUs. [5] 

Labor Force

A diverse economy offers many opportunities to the Savannah region. Industrial production is expected to increase by about 5 percent, and manufacturing will add jobs, continuing to ease supply chain disruptions. Reshoring production will be another factor behind manufacturing job growth. Over the past year, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing made up nearly 20% of the labor force in Savannah. This expanding community also saw a 10-year population growth rate of 13%, more than double the U.S. growth rate. [6] As this number continues to climb, many people are considering moving to Savannah thanks to the city’s relatively low cost of living, with an average cost of living 6.4% less than the national average. [7]

Georgia’s Gateways to the World  

Georgia Ports Authority

Since 1945, Georgia’s ports have served as magnets for international trade and investment, enriching the state’s economy to benefit all Georgians. Georgia’s deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick, together with inland terminals in Chatsworth, Bainbridge, and Columbus, are Georgia’s gateways to the world. They are the critical conduits through which raw materials and finished products flow to and from destinations around the globe. [2]

The Port of Savannah

The Port of Savannah is the largest single-terminal container facility in the Western Hemisphere, comprising two modern deepwater terminals: Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal. Garden City Terminal is the fourth busiest container handling facility in the United States, encompassing a 500-foot channel width and a secured, dedicated 1,200-acre single-terminal container facility. Ocean Terminal, Savannah’s dedicated breakbulk and Roll-on / Roll-off facility, covers 200.4 acres and provides customers with more than 1.4 million square feet of covered, versatile storage. [2] Responsible for 22% of the East Coast container trade and the most global container services among US Southeast & Gulf ports, The Port of Savannah offers many advantages. [3] Georgia’s gateway to the world provides the East Coast with efficient, productive port facilities to move more cargo faster. 

Another logistical advantage to the area is The Port of Savannah, home to the Garden City Terminal, the Southeast’s busiest intermodal gateway. The rail line services an arc of inland markets from Atlanta to Memphis, extending to St. Louis, Chicago, and the Ohio Valley. With a rail capacity of 2 million TEUs per year, the Garden City Terminal improved its infrastructure with the addition of The Mason Mega-Rail Terminal in December 2022. This new rail line will increase the number of working tracks at the terminal from 8 to 18, providing the midwest with more frequent and direct shipments. [4] 

Savannah’s location makes the community a robust regional trade center, with access to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, serving as the primary air gateway to the region. 

Surrounding airports like Charleston International Airport and Jacksonville International Airport are located within hours of Savannah, offering additional access to major business districts of the East Coast. Additionally, Savannah is at the core of three major interstate highways and five state and federal highways, with the driving distance to Florida and South Carolina under 150 miles. With a strong foundation in rail, air, and road cargo, the Savannah area is an important supply chain location for shippers and providers.

With a supportive infrastructure for maritime, air, rail, and road cargo, and accessibility to countless cities throughout North America, Savannah advances as a valuable city for industries to depend on for their supply chain success. NFI continues to expand and serve our customers, focusing on becoming a stakeholder in this important Northern American logistic hubs. As NFI grows within the Savannah market, learn more about the area’s distribution, transportation, and port service opportunities by contacting the NFI team today.

Additional Resources

[1] Savannah Economic Trends

[2] https://gaports.com/our-port/

[3] https://www.savannahchamber.com/economic-development/the-ports/

[4] https://gaports.com/rail/megarail/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QIpEiElyzY

[6] https://seda.org/resources-and-data/data-center/population-and-demographics/

[7] https://uphomes.com/blog/moving-to-savannah-ga/#:~:text=Many%20people%20consider%20relocating%20to,of%20early%202021%20is%20%24252%2C500.