The Port of Savannah is constantly breaking its own records. Just this past month, the port surpassed its July record for cargo handled, moving 336,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container units) – a nearly 7 percent increase over the previous July.
With this ongoing surge of cargo volumes, the Port of Savannah has grown into the fourth-busiest port in the U.S. for containerized materials, trailing only the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and Port of New York & New Jersey.
This is not only good news for Savannah’s economy – it also benefits Atlanta’s industrial market. That’s because many of the goods imported into Savannah are later trucked to Atlanta, one of the nation’s key distribution hubs.
As one of the top-10 consumer markets In the U.S. and a strategically located distribution hub, Atlanta is a logical market for retailers seeking to establish regional distribution centers that pack and ship products to stores, businesses and other end-users. Many of those items arrive in the U.S. via the Port of Savannah.
The roster of companies that have set up bulk distribution centers in Atlanta is proof of the city’s logistical benefits. In addition to the large existing centers in metro Atlanta for Google, PetSmart and others, online retailing giant Amazon.com recently announced plans for a more than 850,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Jackson County northeast of Atlanta that will create 1,000 jobs.
Those projects are indicative of the growing demand for industrial space in Atlanta, which is also spurring construction activity. Gross absorption in the Atlanta industrial market totaled 13.9 million square feet in the second quarter, up from 10.6 million in gross absorption during the same quarter a year ago. The construction pipeline remains active, with 13.2 million square feet under construction as of the second quarter.
Major projects under way in the metro area include Lambert Farms Logistics Park (1.5 million square feet) and Dollar General Distribution Center (1.2 million square feet).