Author Topic: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?  (Read 6991 times)

Jax_Developer

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https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2024/apr/15/vantrust-developing-2m-square-foot-warehouse-for-burlington-in-savannah/

This story above just broke. Impressive to say the least, on top of the other growth with their combined port. They claim to be the third busiest port in the country now. (other links if interested)

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/port-savannah-expansion

https://gaports.com/cargo/container/

JaxPort seems overlooked by the state at times (although I do think there's more eyes on it now). What else can be done beyond a few new cranes & raised electrical lines? Savannah's port has seen double-digit growth some years. Somewhat crazy when you consider the size of Savannah in relation to all the other large US cargo ports. Currently our ports have a similar max draft but Savannah has a slight edge in their maximum height. They have a large river, we have a large river. There's a lot in common.

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2024, 11:24:24 AM »
^There are only two ports in Georgia. So what we don't have in common is the financial support Savannah and Brunswick get from the state. They are also positioned better for goods being shipped into Atlanta and cities in the that portion of the country.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2024, 12:14:11 PM »
^There are only two ports in Georgia. So what we don't have in common is the financial support Savannah and Brunswick get from the state. They are also positioned better for goods being shipped into Atlanta and cities in the that portion of the country.

The fact they only have one port is true. Not sure that still justifies the lack of attention for it but I do see that as an obvious hurdle.

As for the better positioning, I'd have to heavily disagree there. I-95 & I-10 are the two most important interstates in our country... not to mention the series of rails that converge in Jax. We are way better equipped logistically than Savannah. Savannah's advantage is simply their prior depth advantage & proximity to Atlanta & NC relative to Jax. Savannah has had to quite literally build their rail/highway infrastructure from almost nothing. Our advantage is the existing rail & highway networks that link all of South Florida to the rest of the states... a metro area that easily compares with Atlanta & NC. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2024, 12:17:08 PM by Jax_Developer »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2024, 12:27:23 PM »
Maybe Savannah has lower costs of doing business?  Lower land, labor, taxes, port fees, logistics?  Would think shippers pick their ports mostly based on costs. 

Although, once a port gets to a certain threshold, they may gain an advantage due to the number of shipping lanes coming their way.  Kind of like comparing JIA to Atlanta, if easy flying is part of your plans.

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2024, 02:12:52 PM »
^There are only two ports in Georgia. So what we don't have in common is the financial support Savannah and Brunswick get from the state. They are also positioned better for goods being shipped into Atlanta and cities in the that portion of the country.

The fact they only have one port is true. Not sure that still justifies the lack of attention for it but I do see that as an obvious hurdle.

As for the better positioning, I'd have to heavily disagree there. I-95 & I-10 are the two most important interstates in our country... not to mention the series of rails that converge in Jax. We are way better equipped logistically than Savannah. Savannah's advantage is simply their prior depth advantage & proximity to Atlanta & NC relative to Jax. Savannah has had to quite literally build their rail/highway infrastructure from almost nothing. Our advantage is the existing rail & highway networks that link all of South Florida to the rest of the states... a metro area that easily compares with Atlanta & NC. 

Savannah is 2 hours closer to Atlanta than Jax. I don't see much of a logistics edge on our end in serving that particular market.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2024, 05:33:13 PM »
Maybe Savannah has lower costs of doing business?  Lower land, labor, taxes, port fees, logistics?  Would think shippers pick their ports mostly based on costs. 

Although, once a port gets to a certain threshold, they may gain an advantage due to the number of shipping lanes coming their way.  Kind of like comparing JIA to Atlanta, if easy flying is part of your plans.

The affordability could be another big factor. I think there may be some legitimacy to the whole ATL vs JIA example here. Maybe we simply can't attract companies to come here based on our port fees? Perhaps Mayport also plays a role in limiting our ports growth?

I really would challenge the idea that we are somehow less equipped than Savannah on a supply-chain level Lake. We have large logistics companies HQ'd here, near I-95, I-75 & I-10, with one of the largest rivers in the country... I have to imagine the proximity to a large MSA is only one piece of the pie in trade. If anything it's surprising that Jacksonville let Savannah get as big as it is now...

For some perspective, it's 6x larger than Miami by TEU's.

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2024, 06:31:46 PM »
I don't think the size of ports in Savannah, Charleston or Norfolk has anything to do with the size of those cities and MSAs. They have a significant funding advantage by being in states that don't have anywhere close to the amount of ports that Florida has. It's not a slight on Jax or something that Jax specifically isn't doing. Close 10 other ports in Florida and without a doubt, Jaxport would be significantly larger.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2024, 08:50:51 PM »
The FDOT website lists 14 deepwater ports they help fund (plus 2 inactive ports: Putnam and Citrus). Seven of those are on the Atlantic coast. JAXPORT has a lot of competition for limited dollars. Looking at the FDOT 6-year budget, Seaports will get $1.1 billion, which sounds like a lot of money. But, it only makes up 0.9% of FDOT's $115.7 billion 6-year budget.  Highways and Turnpike together will get over 56% of the budget. Federal discretionary grants can provide additional funds for individual ports able to secure them.

Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2024, 07:23:55 AM »
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2024/apr/15/vantrust-developing-2m-square-foot-warehouse-for-burlington-in-savannah/

This story above just broke. Impressive to say the least, on top of the other growth with their combined port. They claim to be the third busiest port in the country now. (other links if interested)

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/port-savannah-expansion

https://gaports.com/cargo/container/

JaxPort seems overlooked by the state at times (although I do think there's more eyes on it now). What else can be done beyond a few new cranes & raised electrical lines? Savannah's port has seen double-digit growth some years. Somewhat crazy when you consider the size of Savannah in relation to all the other large US cargo ports. Currently our ports have a similar max draft but Savannah has a slight edge in their maximum height. They have a large river, we have a large river. There's a lot in common.

See the bolded part & the title. There's no slight to Jacksonville being made... simply put, how can JaxPort participate in the Port growth at seen Savannah? The argument that Savannah is somehow better located doesn't hold much merit being only 130 miles up the coastline, plus everything else I have mentioned.

If the economics work so well for Savannah port, the economics 'should' work well for JaxPort. What is not being understood, is the combined TEU's of all Florida ports are still only 75% of Savannah's TEU's.

https://gaports.dcatalog.com/v/FY22-Annual-Report/?page=6

So, $1.1B is being spent annually on all our ports, while Georgia, a state with an economy the half the size of Florida's, is spending nearly $400M annually in port upgrades alone for the next decade. I understand there's competition with other ports, but I think the big glaring question is why has the overall Florida government decided that getting in on the action isn't their priority? As recent as 2013, the volume at Savannah was 50% of what it is today, and is expected to reach 8m TEU by the end of the decade... They have grown their port more in the past decade than what every port in Florida currently handles annually.

Savannah will effectively build an entire port, the size of Miami currently, in the next decade, and Jacksonville will raise their lines by 2035. The idea that Savannah is somehow better positioned because of its proximity to ATL is not why JaxPort has watched Savannah become the largest port in the Southeast.

Therefore, there really must be a reason why JaxPort has simply watched from the sidelines. (Port Fees, Military, Lack of Policy, Land availability... etc.). Miami/Tampa ports are not the "go to" destination for US distribution so I really don't see how they are even relevant in a competition with Savannah for new calls. 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2024, 07:26:19 AM by Jax_Developer »

Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2024, 07:30:58 AM »
The FDOT website lists 14 deepwater ports they help fund (plus 2 inactive ports: Putnam and Citrus). Seven of those are on the Atlantic coast. JAXPORT has a lot of competition for limited dollars. Looking at the FDOT 6-year budget, Seaports will get $1.1 billion, which sounds like a lot of money. But, it only makes up 0.9% of FDOT's $115.7 billion 6-year budget.  Highways and Turnpike together will get over 56% of the budget. Federal discretionary grants can provide additional funds for individual ports able to secure them.

Right, where are we missing opportunity? Our Seaport budget is clearly not even a fraction of the state's annual expenditure. Hard to imagine there aren't ways to make an impact in the shorter term.

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2024, 07:32:59 AM »
So what do you think Savannah is doing that Jax isn't doing and why?
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2024, 07:57:04 AM »
So what do you think Savannah is doing that Jax isn't doing and why?

Take a look at the aerials of their port. Most of that land was nothing but marsh/dirt as recently as a decade ago. The main catalyst for the rise has been increased traffic at the Panama Canal. That was recognized back in the early 2000's based on articles online. The combined efforts of the Port Authority, State & City have been working in tandem to not only increase their overall footprint but to also automate as many systems as they can afford (they seem to afford much more). Dozens of articles on the two topics I could find if anyone wants some links.

JaxPort has had the exact same footprint for quite a while. Same goes with most Florida ports. This same identification was not made until at least a decade later. Savannah already dredged, and was ready for PANAMAX ships in the early 2010's. They have just been way more on the ball than all of Florida, JaxPort aside. Hence why I find it ironic that we are not heavily pursuing port investment for JaxPort. Ironically, South Carolina is getting in the action now (and their port will be state funded).

Not many ports have our draft, potential size, and LNG. We do have unique factors that would make transportation advantageous! (I think at least lol)

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2024, 08:21:40 AM »
How much money did they receive for expansion.....which includes the dredging, compared to ours? I remember the conversations on this forum about them proposing to dredge (JAXPORT back then too) prior to 2010....time flies lol. As a developer, you know that if you have more access to capital you can move forward much quicker compared to those that don't have the same access. I don't think we can undervalue the impact of that.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Jax_Developer

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2024, 08:44:29 AM »
How much money did they receive for expansion.....which includes the dredging, compared to ours? I remember the conversations on this forum about them proposing to dredge (JAXPORT back then too) prior to 2010....time flies lol. As a developer, you know that if you have more access to capital you can move forward much quicker compared to those that don't have the same access. I don't think we can undervalue the impact of that.

Will 100% have to look into that. Much of it seems to be federal however. I'll validate that claim. If so, then I think the conversation is why have we not looked to pursue federal funding? Or any? Was JaxPort's deepening done on any federal dollars?

thelakelander

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Re: Explosive Port Growth in Savannah, GA - How do we take part?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2024, 09:16:42 AM »
Here is a quote from a 2017 forum post here:

Quote
As Jacksonville considers spending big bucks to deepen its ship channel, the port of Savannah continues to solidify its position as the busiest hub in the Southeast while closing in on another record-setting year for cargo business.

The Savannah seaport is on track to beat its previous record of about 3.67 million cargo container units set two years ago, officials said Monday at the monthly meeting of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Full article: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-05-22/savannah-s-port-keep-setting-records-while-jacksonville-mulls-dredging
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali