Monday, December 8, 2014

Savannah: small city, big port, bigger dreams.

The port of Savannah surged for the last decade  while Mississippi screwed around with the port of Gulport for years.  Bloomberg News reported:

Blueberries from Chile, Peru and Brazil may soon be heading toward U.S. tables via Savannah, Georgia, opening another shipping market in the city’s emergence as a major trade hub.

With a population of just 143,000, Savannah trails only New York City as an East Coast container port and ranks No. 4 nationally after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, according to Datamyne and compiled by Bloomberg.

“Not only have we been the fastest-growing port in the U.S. for a decade now,” Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said at the organization’s annual meeting in September. “But we’re now in a position to grow and become No. 1. Something that was unfathomable a decade ago is something that is at least within our sight.”

The city best known for its haunted-house tours and moss-draped trees has been the fastest-growing major U.S. harbor for most of the last decade with an average annual growth rate of 11 percent. Once a sleepy outpost for timber and white-clay exports, Savannah has leapfrogged Baltimore, Miami, Charleston, Norfolk and Philadelphia thanks to its transportation network and the economic expansion in the U.S. and southeast region. ....

One selling point against competitors in other cities is the Savannah port’s proximity to major expressways such as Interstate 20 and Interstate 95.

“It attracts a lot of traffic that way,” said Lee Klaskow, senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Skillman, N.J “They can get folks from a boat to a train or a highway quickly.”

Truckers can do nine “turns” a day, meaning picking or dropping off freight, said Page Siplon, executive director of the Georgia Centers of Innovation, which is part of the state’s economic development department. That compares to an average of 1.5 per day at the three other top U.S. ports.

Savannah’s port isn’t as deep as the West Coast ports, or even as deep as some on the East Coast, such as Norfolk. Savannah is one of several East Coast ports working to deepen their waters in order to attract the larger ships that will one day come through the expanded Panama Canal.

Savannah’s path to a world-class port began almost 20 years ago, when Savannah Economic Development Authority built a speculative distribution warehouse complex, initially with no tenants. The distribution network around the port now includes warehouses for retailers such as Target Corp. (TGT), Home Depot Inc. (HD), Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO), as well as cold storage for chickens, of which Georgia is the world’s biggest exporter.

While Western ports still hold the dominant market share, with 54.9 percent of volume in 2013, that’s down from 60.8 percent six years earlier. Much of the East Coast’s gain can be traced to vessels from Asia increasingly relying on the Suez Canal, according to JLL Research, a Chicago-based commercial real estate and investment services provider.

Savannah’s effort to grow further by importing formerly New York-bound fruit is still in the pilot stage.

That effort began in September, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fruit that once had to unload in cooler climates, in order to control pests, will now be chilled during the trip across the sea, which accomplishes the same purpose.

Port officials are talking to growers to convince them to make the switch. According to a January 2014 Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. imported more than $18 billion in fruits and vegetables in 2011. It imported $6.2 billion of fresh, dried or frozen fruit, up from $2.6 billion in 2000. Chile, Peru and Brazil fruit and vegetable exports to the U.S. were $1.7 billion, $706 million, and $398 million respectively.

“It’s going to be a game changer,” said Siplon. Rest of article
This should stir up the coasties. 


Anonymous said...

Agriculture and Transportation have long been the two major industries of the U.S. economy. Not only has Ms. jackassed around with Gulfport, they have not taken full advantage of the ports along the Ms. river. After several years the Tombigbee has laid almost dormant. It would be great if we had a skillful, knowledgable specilatist to develop these assets.

Anonymous said...

The Coasties fall in line behind the likes of leaders such as Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant, Tate Reeves, etc. They get EXACTLY what they deserve, sky-high property insurance rates, a failed port, crappy roads, etc.

Anonymous said...

The biggest industries in Ms. are politics, and kissing politicians asses.

Anonymous said...

9:16. Yup. No wonder liberal media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes consistently name Mississippi as a poor place to do business. We keep electing those liberals as leaders and we get more spending, higher taxes, and the only business we attract are crony developers who bring upscale strip malls.

How was that Nissan plant lured? Sure, they gave up a lot of tax revenue to the big company--but what a return in terms of workers and their families! Where did those conservative leaders go?

Anonymous said...

9:16 Enough ranting - your point?

Anonymous said...

No question there is a lot of blame to go around but finger pointing will get us nowhere.
What actions will the state and local leadership do to change it.
Hmmm-based upon past performance there will be a lot of talk but nothing tangible will happen. Business as usual.

Anonymous said...

IIRC within the last ten years Gulfport was the leading importer of bananas to the entire country; now that business has all shifted to Galveston.

Shouldn't proximity to I-10 be just as advantageous for Gulfport as proximity to I-20 and I-95 be for Savannah? Of course, there's a hell of a lot more people along I-95 so that may make a difference.

Anonymous said...

When companies locate, they are looking at transportation modes, as well as highways. Also utiilites and educational facilities for their employees, as well as entertainment and cultural advantages. The entire population of Ms. is less than larger cities like New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, Charleston, and others that have the tax base and smarter, more experienced people than Ms. can or has hired. I'm thinking of the Ms. Development Authority in particular. We're lagging now, and will continue to do so, as our politicians will argue about petty things. Hell, let's just subsidize another strip mall is an example of their thinking, or try to lure a another low wage factory to a small town. That type of low grade, immature thinking will do nothing to enhance the growth or economic stabilization for communities or the state.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Greenville port has expanded and significantly increased tonnage in the last two years, and Vicksburg is running out of space at it's port. A lot more grain due to increased harvests is moving on the river, in addition to other commodities.

Anonymous said...

No question there is a lot of blame to go around but finger pointing will get us nowhere.

"No question", of course, it "will get us nowhere" especially when the fingers point at Haley Barbour and other members of the GOP governing intelligentsia.

Anonymous said...

Damn love hearing people rant on here that don't know s&&t about what they are talking about. And KF, to compare the time of the SC port and the Gulfport kinda puts you in that same mix. Gulfport had a little problem called Katrina that made development in general be a little slowed. But, that was what provided the money - remember, they had to start from scratch 'rebuilding' a port.

Big difference, though, is the channel depth at MS compared to Galveston and to SC - and others for that matter. Current depth of the channel into Gulfport doesn't allow for the big ships that can get into these other ports.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much money we throw at the port, until it is dug to the proper depth it will never be competitive. Blame can be placed on the State Government and Federal Government equally. The main culprit is old, senile, adulterous Thad.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 5:10 PM, complete due diligence assessing the ramifications of inadequate channel depth should have been completed BEFORE dumping $600M into Haley's Port of Dreams.

No doubt you also took Barbour's turn-pine-trees-into-oil dope.

Kingfish said...

You're tying in slavery to port problems? Wow.

Anonymous said...

8:15 hasn't a clue what he/she is speaking of. The federal government has the money to dredge the channel. It has been set aside specifically for that purpose. Why the Feds haven't been spending the money for its intended purpose is anyone's guess. If you don't like it, call Thad. Half of this crowd are amongst the democrats that elected him anyway.

Anonymous said...

Well, the reasons are in the posts above. Mississippians can't work together on anything. We are three competing regions...Delta,Coast and Central ...which don't want the others to succeed. Any topic will become about politics or race and individuals will be trashed. No good idea can ever see the light of day. Change is bad. The " know nothings" will weigh in so loudly as to drown out any competent voices.

Of course, the comment about electing "liberals" cracked my up! That's a non-existent boogeyman in this state! ROFLMAO!

Anonymous said...

The Port of the Future in Gulfport is a great example of how CDBG funds were used and misused after Katrina. Many cases of misused money are being examined by others at this time. The Harrison County Utility District is under federal investigation and has many people, including politicians, running for cover. Over $240 million was spent in Harrison County alone for infrastructure that was not needed and is not being used at this time and will never reach projected capacity. The engineers fro Jackson received almost 40% of these funds. Work force housing is another area where greed trumped need. Projects built with CDBG funds are now failing with many only 50% occupied. They have also financially destroyed many private market rate developments.Some disguised as work force housing are now being operated as age restricted waterfront retirement communities at much discounted rents. The group that made the real money on all of the CDBG projects were the CONsultants with the inside connections at MDA.They were given preferential treatment and accessed funds others could not get.Every project had that special person who could make the needed contacts. All CDBG money that was used after Katrina on projects in south Ms.should be investigated by the Feds.If this happens many of the CONsultants would be indicted in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The blame the Federales gang here in Mississippi only seeks to redirect away from the complicity and fraud of the ruling Barbour cabal and their political donor enrichment schemes.

Anonymous said...

"All CDBG money that was used after Katrina on projects in south Ms.should be investigated by the Feds.If this happens many of the CONsultants would be indicted in my opinion."

They have, and will again. The consultants aren't the corrupt ones, for the most part. A couple have been to jail.

Anonymous said...

CDBG money was 100% federal which means it was not real money to Barbour or the State or the Port Commission. Dredging the channel is 65/35 so the state would have had to come up with millions of dollars and commit to pay 35% of maintenance dredging. The Gulfport channel is not a natural channel and the bottom is all silt. To go to 45 feet deep it would need to be very wide with a gradual slope and still would silt in relatively rapidly.

The Ship Island restoration money also was 100% federal, pumping sand into the breach from south of the island. Gene Taylor tried to get the Corps to dredge the ship channel and use that material for the island restoration, but the state would have had to pay the additional cost and wouldn't do so.

Anonymous said...

Unless major exporter(s)/importer(S) located on the Ms. gateway, I doubt the numbers would work for major development at this time. Traffic would have to be siphoned off the New Orleans, and Mobile, ports, and that would require special incentives to be successful. What happened with the proposed Container yard south of Hattiesburg?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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