Savannah jobs are likely to increase as the Port of Savannah expands further. As with most areas of job growth, the local economy should improve and the Savannah real estate market should also pick up in response. People who have perhaps been waiting for the right time to sell will begin putting their homes on the market. More Savannah homes for sale means increased inventory for the market. It all starts with Savannah’s port however.
The Georgia Ports’ Garden City Terminal already has had the designation of the fourth largest container port in the nation as well as the fastest growing one. The great thing for the local economy and community though, is that it’s not done. Late last year, an agreement was signed to expand the Savannah harbor so that the port facilities could continue to expand as well. The ports are a huge part of the health of this community, with local businesses using them for both export and import. Georgia Ports Authority’s executive director said last year that 1,900 new jobs are related to the year of growth at the ports. That’s just in one year and with further expansion on the horizon, the job growth likely isn’t finished.
Besides the new Savannah jobs directly tied to the ports, over 350,000 new jobs were added across Georgia through expansion of the transportation and logistics ladder, which is all related to the port. In 2014, the Georgia ports moved 29.4 million tons of cargo, increasing the amount to eight percent more than the previous year. The amount of vehicles and machinery moved was up by 10 percent. Those are just two categories that saw increases last year. However, it’s not done. This year, container numbers already increased 14 percent in February and doubled to 28 percent by March. April numbers are expected to continue the trend.
Even though the numbers are great, it’s not the whole story as part of the reason behind the increase is cargo being diverted from West Coast ports, which are notoriously congested and prone to strikes or worker discontent. However, the part of the story that is good for Georgia and Savannah is the fact that shipping companies are starting to realize that the ports here can handle the extra load and the temporary diversions are beginning to become permanent.
The GPA’s executive director spoke to this in March, saying that ports across the country have been severely tested by the West Coast diversion and most of them have failed the test. On the other hand, the Georgia ports have been the exception, passing with flying colors. Savannah ports have admirably handled the heavy influx without becoming congested. Single container moves take only half an hour and import/export just below an hour. Other East Coast terminals are far more congested with truck drivers only able to complete one visit to the port in a day.
This is where the GPA has been ahead of the curve, by increasing infrastructure and expansion through investment, the ports in Savannah are able to keep up with the influx of demand. It is home to the biggest single operator terminal, not just in the United States, but across North America. This container yard spanning 1,200 acres allows the GPA to handle huge amounts of cargo and better still, to move it quickly. Further, highway projects have allowed trucks to move quickly as well, gaining swift access to Interstates.
By container volume, it is the second busiest port on the East Coast and is continues to accept influxes from other strained ports, it is poised for even more growth in this year and likely into next. This is huge for Savannah real estate as more jobs are created up and down the chain in the port, in transportation industries as well as logistics. Market experts expect to see more Savannah homes for sale in the coming months as residents see their chance to sell and get in on the likely influx of people moving in for jobs.
In a national economy that continues to be stripped of jobs, any area seeing an influx can expect swift growth in both the local economy and the housing market.