Georgia Deepwater Ports

Georgia companies have another gateway to the world through the state-of-the-art deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick. Operated by the Georgia Ports Authority, they are the fifth largest in the country and serve as south Atlantic’s premier auto-processing facility. As one of the busiest ports on the U.S. East Coast, Savannah handles approximately 80 percent of the ship-borne cargo entering Georgia. Specializing in automobile importing, Brunswick handles nearly all of Georgia’s remaining shipping traffic. Combined with inland barge operations in Bainbridge and Columbus, and the Cordele Inland Port, which offers a direct route to the Garden City Terminal’s Chatham Yard, these waterways accelerate the pace of commerce.

Georgia Port Authority

The purpose of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), according to the agency’s mission statement, is “to develop, maintain, and operate ocean and inland river ports within Georgia; foster international trade and new industry for state and local communities; promote Georgia’s agricultural, industrial, and natural resources; and maintain the natural quality of the environment.”

The statement declares that the GPA promotes trade between Georgia and foreign nations and encourages the development and use of Georgia’s agricultural, industrial, and natural resources while defending the quality of the natural environment. The GPA was created in 1945 by an act of the Georgia legislature in response to the economic boom of the post-World War II era. The state’s two deep-water ports, Savannah and Brunswick, each had a long history of trade and commerce, but the creation of the GPA marked the beginning of their development by an official state agency.

The GPA is governed by a board of directors consisting of thirteen members appointed by the governor for four-year staggered terms. Members are appointed from throughout the state and meet monthly. Administrative offices are located in Savannah.