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Chambers of Commerce

June 18 - GPA Launches Economic Impact Site

Web tool shows port activity by county, commodity

June 18, 2013 – Data from a study showing the broad economic impact of Georgia’s ports is now available in an online tool detailing port-related commerce by county and region.

“Understanding how the GPA’s economic impact breaks down to specific communities is critical to understanding the part the ports play in the lives of all Georgians,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

Foltz added that the complete study, conducted under the direction of Dr. Jeff Humphreys, is a terrific example of the importance of the logistics industry across the state.

“This new tool, developed by the GPA and UGA’s Terry College of Business, shares with a broader audience the role of global trade across Georgia markets,” said Humphreys, director of UGA’s Selig Center for Economic Growth and author of the report, titled Economic Impact of Georgia’s Deepwater Ports. “While we have been conducting similar economic studies for more than a decade, this is the first time we’ve been able to break down port-related impacts by county.”

The web-based tool is available at impact. Users may focus on a single location to find the overall throughput of a county, the types of commodities it trades in and the jobs impact of the ports. For instance, 352,000 jobs are supported by Georgia’s deepwater ports, 37,319 of which are port-related jobs in Chatham County. “This educational tool helps Georgians see the direct impact their ports have on the state and on their home counties,” said Foltz. “It is also useful for those interested in promoting economic development.”

Additional data was also developed from PIERS (Port Import Export Reporting Service), showing that in fiscal year 2012 businesses located in Chatham County were responsible for moving 21,670 twenty-foot equivalent container units in imports, and 7,387 TEUs in exports. Imports were valued at $1 billion and exports at $436.9 million, for a total cargo value of $1.45 billion. Automobiles, vegetable fatty acids and sweeteners were the most commonly traded exports, while furniture, aircraft parts and construction equipment were the major imports.

Data also can be searched by commodity to show statewide numbers.

“Rather than simply presenting a list of numbers, this website shows that data graphically, to give site visitors a better grasp of what the numbers mean,” Foltz said, noting that the web tool is designed to work on desktop computers, as well as iPads and other smart devices.

According the UGA study, Georgia’s deepwater ports support one out of 12 full- and part-time jobs across the state.

The study found statewide impacts also include:
• $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);
• $4.5 billion in federal taxes;
• $1.4 billion in state taxes; and
• $1.1 billion in local taxes.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah was the second busiest U.S. container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2011. Check out GPA’s Youtube channel here.

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