Savannah, Ga. — Atlanta's airport may get most of the attention, but Georgians want people to remember that they have seaports, too. Economic recovery is being felt along the waterfront as well as in the woodlands. The Port of Savannah, now shipping around 14 million tons annually, has enjoyed healthy increases in container shipments and dry bulk commodities - clay, lumber, paper products, and wood pulp - in the fiscal year just ended. Liquid bulk and break-bulk cargo shipments were off for the year, but rebounded strongly during the last quarter. Eighteen steamship lines began or expanded operations here over the past year.
And major expansion of port facilities is under way, both in Savannah and down in the much smaller but rapidly growing port at Brunswick, which saw a 48 percent increase in tonnage shipped this past year, passing the half-million mark.
The Savannah port's specialties are carpet, the leading container-shipped commodity here; jute, imported from India and Bangladesh for the carpetmakers of Dalton; and kaolin, the white clay used in papermaking and fine china.