They call Savannah, Ga., “the hostess city of the South.” Over the past two years, Savannah has hosted a lot of containers from all over the world. With recent fears of labor stoppages on the West Coast, ports on the East Coast have seen an increase in traffic. In the past year, the Port of Savannah has become congested to the point of ships having to wait in line at sea for weeks before being able to unload. “Charleston’s December (2022) imports were up 28% versus December 2019, pre-COVID. Savannah’s were up 26% and Virginia’s 21%,” according to data from ports in a FreightWaves article. “In stark contrast, combined imports in Los Angeles and Long Beach were down 15% in December versus three years ago, Oakland was down 19% and Seattle/Tacoma 20%.”
This blog explores the promising future for the Port of Savannah and offers three strategies to help find the right Savannah-area 3PL service provider to work with.
Despite a Slight Dip, Port of Savannah Shows Bright Future
The Port of Savannah is the fourth busiest in the country; only Long Beach, Calif.; Los Angeles; and New York are more active. While the port has seen a small dip in volume in the first two months of 2023, it still expects to remain a national leader. “Trade has slowed down in recent months,” Benjamin Payne reported for GPB News. “In January, for example, import and export cargo fell by 16% and 11.5%, respectively, compared to the same month last year.”
But that hasn’t stopped the port from making significant investments, with Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch saying, “this is the perfect time to double down, make sure we build out our capacity while it’s slow.” Of the $410 million upgrade, Lynch said: “We’re taking the Georgia ports from a Southeast gateway to a global gateway.” With this type of huge investment into the Port of Savannah, it’s easy to see why shippers want to be a part of it and are curious as to how to find the best logistics partner in this southern city.
Three Strategies to Find the Right Port of Savannah 3PL for Your Operations
When you visit a new area, having a local guide can be helpful in navigating unfamiliar territory. Shippers considering the expanding Port of Savannah can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a local 3PL service provider. Here are three strategies that shippers can use to find the right 3PL in Savannah for their needs.
Find Capacity On-Demand
With a local 3PL in Savannah, you have dependable access to drayage at the port. They can help you avoid port fees and make it easier to ensure on-time, in-full (OTIF) delivery. A quality 3PL like Port Jersey Logistics, which has a 3PL warehouse in Savannah, can offer capacity on-demand with an extensive network of carriers that includes options like full truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, refrigerated, and frozen transportation.
Prioritize Reliable Warehousing
Finding a dependable warehouse is always a crucial part of logistics. But when there are shortages of warehouse workers, it becomes even more important to build a partnership with a reliable warehouse. A survey by Instawork reported 75% of light industrial businesses said they were not prepared at the start of last year, and 60% struggled to keep pace with increased demand the year before. For shippers, especially those transporting perishable goods, the need for reputable warehouse capacity near a port like Savannah is a must.
Know the Value of Value-Added Services
You want a 3PL to be reliable at performing the three essential services — transportation, shipping, and warehousing — but a quality 3PL offers value-added services that can help a growth-minded shipper achieve scalability while tackling the challenges shippers face. Let’s take a quick look at some of these value-added services:
- Kitting: Combining multiple products into an easy-to-pick package and easy-to-track stock-keeping unit (SKU).
- Creating club store pallets: A partner with experience working with club store requirements can build full-size pallets that beautifully display a product and function as transport packaging.
- Personalizing items: Adding initials or a laser-etched inscription to the back of electronic items can increase their value.
- Special add-on labeling: To save time and money, a 3PL can attach specialized labeling for different retailers or government regulatory agencies.
- Returns management: A 3PL works with customers to determine if returns of damaged products can be repaired or sent back to the manufacturer. Extra packaging can be kept on hand to ensure refurbished units have a proper appearance when redistributed.
- Reworking: This involves inspecting and repackaging returned merchandise to go back into stock. That means sorting through returned items, conducting a thorough inspection, then repackaging them.
- Disposal/product destruction: Returned items can be disposed of if they cannot be reused or resold due to damage.
Port Jersey Logistics is Just What You Need in Savannah and Elsewhere
Despite being one of the busiest ports in the U.S., the Port of Savannah is not resting on its laurels. It is in the process of expanding and getting better. If you are a shipper growing your business and trying to get better, a 3PL can help you, especially if Savannah is going to be one of the ports you’ll be using. Pick the right 3PL, like Port Jersey Logistics, and you can have capacity on-demand, reliable warehousing, and a host of value-added services that can boost your company’s image and help you increase your bottom line. With many decades of experience and a deep history in food distribution, Port Jersey Logistics provides comprehensive and integrated services that meet a wide range of logistics, from warehousing to transportation to value-added services. If you want a 3PL that can grow with you in Savannah and elsewhere, contact us today.