Is Georgia part of your supply chain?

It just may be that the US state of Georgia is part of your supply chain and you may not even be aware of it – and that’s ok with the state’s economic development department. Logistics is a strategic focus and not just within the confines of the state’s boundaries but on the global stage.

Georgia boasts the tenth biggest airport cargo facility in the US as well as the fourth largest port. Not to mention it is the top automotive import processor for the US as well as among the largest for automobile parts imports for area manufacturers such as Kia and Porsche (Georgia), BMW (South Carolina), Volkswagen (Tennessee) and Mercedes (Alabama).

According to Page Siplon, the Executive Director of the state’s Center of Innovation for Logistics, Georgia offers a “complete supply solution”. Besides a top ranking port and airport, the state also boasts more rail track miles than any other Southeast state as well as access to interstates that run north and south and east and west.

Mr. Siplon noted there are over 12,500 companies providing logistics services in the state, ranging from mom and pop companies to Fortune 500 companies such as UPS. To add to this growing list is United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) which announced that it plans to relocate its North American headquarters to the metro-Atlanta area. According to Dr. Anil Vitarana, president of UASC, “Traditionally we’ve had a strong presence in the South Atlantic market and we believe that the Metro Atlanta area will offer us access to a pool of skilled employees. The excellent global airline network and the quality of life that the area will provide our staff also factored in our decision.”

So, what’s the outlook for Georgia? Among the many opportunities, Mr. Siplon sees more warehousing and distribution facilities. e-commerce and retail seem to be generating a lot of this growth. For example Home Depot has just opened its e-fulfilment center in Locust Grove, Georgia and Carter’s opened a multichannel distribution center in Braselton, Georgia in 2012.

Besides warehousing and distribution facilities, the growth of intermodal and the success of the inland port in Cordele have sparked interest in building out an intermodal hub network throughout the state.

Logistics is indeed a strategic focus for the state of Georgia. In fact, this week, the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics and its partners host the 6th annual Georgia Logistics Summit. What started out with less than 500 in attendance six years ago, today attendance has increased to well over 2,000. The event not only showcases Georgia logistics capabilities and highlights areas of improvements, such as the port of Savannah dredging project and funding for designated “freight corridors”, it also provides a forum for shippers and logistics providers to network and collaborate.

This year marks the third year in which Ti is a media sponsor for the Georgia Logistics Summit.