Economy: Supporting The Port


One strength that has helped Georgia’s economy for decades and can continue to drive our economy is our transportation, distribution and logistics industry, especially our deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick. 

Georgia’s ports have fully recovered from the Great Recession, and the incoming data bode well for their expansion in 2012-2014. 

The statewide economic impact of Georgia’s deepwater ports in 2011 includes these impressive numbers:

• $66.9 billion in sales (9.5 percent of Georgia’s total sales);
• $32.4 billion in state GDP (7.8 percent of Georgia’s total GDP);
• $18.5 billion in income (5.2 percent of Georgia’s total personal income);
• 352,146 full- and part-time jobs (8.3 percent of Georgia’s total employment);
• $4.5 billion in federal taxes;
• $1.4 billion in state taxes; and
• $1.1 billion in local taxes.

These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on imports and exports through Georgia’s deepwater ports translates into jobs, higher incomes, greater production of goods and services and revenue collections for government. They all merit a closer look.

Ports operations help preserve Georgia’s manufacturing base, support Georgia’s agricultural economy and foster growth of the state’s massive logistics, distribution and warehousing cluster. Ports benefit each of Georgia’s 159 counties. 

In order, the 10 counties with the largest number of port-dependent jobs are Fulton (57,625), Chatham (37,319), Cobb (24,538), Gwinnett (23,193), DeKalb (22,660), Clayton (11,953), Richmond (10,168), Bibb (7,310), Muscogee (5,607) and Hall (5,592).

 The total economic impact of Georgia’s ports on the state economy is $66.9 billion, or 9.5 percent of Georgia’s output in FY 2011. Some $39.3 billion represents initial spending, or direct economic impact; $27.6 billion is indirect and induced spending, or the re-spending (multiplier) impact. 

Dividing the output impact by initial spending yields an average multiplier value of 1.704. So on average, every dollar initially spent by the ports industry and ports users generates an additional 70 cents for the state’s economy.

Deepwater ports contributed $32.4 billion to the state’s economy in fiscal year 2011, which is 7.8 percent of Georgia’s total GDP. Of the total, $16.3 billion represents the direct effects of initial spending; $16.2 billion is indirect and in-duced spending, or the re-spending (multiplier) impact.

In terms of income, Georgia’s ports contributed $18.5 billion to the state’s economy in fiscal year 2011, or 5.2 percent of Georgia’s total personal income. Of the total, $9.4 billion represents the direct effects and $9.1 billion is indirect and induced spending.

The economic impact is most easily understood in terms of its effects on employment: Georgia’s ports support 352,146 full- and part-time jobs, or 8.3 percent of Georgia’s total employment.

This means that one job out of every 12 is in some way dependent on the ports; 153,884 jobs represent the direct effects of initial spending and 198,263 jobs are the indirect and induced effects of spending.

The total economic impact of the deepwater ports on tax collections by state government is $1.4 billion; the impact on tax collections by local governments is $1.1 billion. In terms of federal tax collections, the impact is a hefty $4.5 billion.

Deepwater ports are one of Georgia’s strongest economic engines, fostering the development of virtually every industry. The ports are especially supportive of other forms of transportation, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution centers and agriculture.

The outstanding performance of Georgia’s ports reflects strong competitive advantages that allowed the state’s ports to expand their share of activities.

 These advantages are largely the result of stra-tegic investments in port facilities by the state of Georgia over many years. Deepening the Savan-nah harbor is the next logical strategic investment that our state needs to make to ensure that our ports continue to be strong economic engines.

Categories: Economy