The sold-out Annual Georgia Logistics Summit provided participants with insights into the economy, technology, and transportation that are fueling industry growth. For the past fourteen years, the Georgia Center of Innovation has hosted the Logistics Summit to provide insights on the industry. This year’s 800+ attendees convened in Savannah to network and hear from leaders across the State.
Stunning and giddy aren’t typically words used in an economic outlook presentation, but the growth in the Savannah region isn’t typical. The summit began with an overview of the economic indicators that are impacting logistics, globally and regionally. Dr. Michael Toma, Professor of Economics, Parker College of Business, Georgia Southern University, presented several factors that have him and others excited, for the future of the region, including the industrial expansion underway. Several times Dr. Toma described the growth and economic projections as, "stunning."
Population growth in the South was also an important factor related to the logistic industry's boom taking place.
“Savannah doesn’t have to worry about reaching the market, because the market is coming to Savannah,” said Dr. Walter Kemmsies, Economist, Managing Partner, The Kemmsies Group regarding the population growth in the South. This was in response to the 2020-2022 data that showed the South’s population grew 1.8%, outpacing all other U.S. regions.
SQFT under construction in SAV
Population growth in South 2020-22
Parker College of Business
To keep pace with protected growth, the audience received updates about investments from members of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), and others. Both GDOT and GPA organizations presented on the targeted investments they are making to transportation infrastructure to keep products and people moving efficiently. This included significant expansions to the Port of Savannah and the Port of Brunswick.
Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch has announced $1.8 billion planned investments in the ports this year, including upgrades of the Mason Mega Rail, Garden City Terminal West, Ocean Terminal, and Berth One.
These investments aren’t only taking place on the coast, or large organizations. The Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson highlighted the investment and resources across Georgia. In particular, the role that the Center of Innovation team has on supporting businesses of all sizes.
“The Georgia Department of Economic Development has consistently made strategic investments guided by market needs and feedback from businesses of all sizes, in every corner of the state. Our Center of Innovation team enhances the many assets that make Georgia unique. This specialized team works alongside the logistics industry and other key Georgia industries to position them for growth, and like today’s event, by connecting them with the other resources and businesses that make doing business easier, more seamless, and more efficient and effective,” Pat Wilson said in a press release.
Participants at the Summit had the opportunity to also hear from representatives of the business community. Many touched on the lessons learned from the pandemic, and how they are implementing those lessons into their business operations.
“We are moving from just in time, to just in case. These [supply chain] disruptions are going to be a part of the foreseeable future. We are better prepared to buffer against that uncertainty,” said Rick McDonald, Senior VP & Chief Supply Chain Officer, The Clorox Company.
The summit concluded with a startup expo hosted by Plug and Play Tech Center. Plug and Play drives innovation through their global network connecting change-makers to leading organizations. Their Savannah location is focused on fostering a world-class supply chain and logistics innovation program. Twenty-five companies from Plug and Play- Savannah were available to demo their technology and learn more about the challenges of existing logistic-related companies.
Georgia power was proud to be among the sponsors at this year's event. Our team works closely with regional and state leaders to support the growth of Savannah and beyond. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find available properties, connect with partners, and grow your business.
Coastal Region Community Development Manager