Of the 496,700 jobs that the Georgia Ports provide for the state, 40,000 are in Gwinnett. Let that sink in a bit; that’s roughly 10 percent of the whole. That alone explains why Griff Lynch, Executive Director for the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) had a lot to share at the Gwinnett Chamber’s On Topic Luncheon, presented by Rocket IT. Sure, he may be from Long Island, New York, but Lynch leads one of the largest economic engines in the South and his success has earned him the title of Georgia Trend 2022 Georgian of the Year.

Lynch loves his job, and the audience could tell during his presentation. He proudly highlighted that those jobs mentioned above, in total, represent about $29 billion in annual income for Georgians. He further added that the Ports produce a little over $122 billion in industry sales and generate about $3-4 billion in state and local taxes each year. Savannah, alone, is the fastest growing port and warehousing market in the nation with a staggeringly low vacancy rate, 0.76%, across its warehousing space of 86-million square feet.

But all these incredible statistics of sheer size and volume were not enough for Lynch who went on to share the 2050 vision for the Georgia Ports. As of this year, Savannah manages a little over six million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), or shipping containers, a year. By 2050, that number is expected to increase to twenty million TEUs. And what is more impressive than the growth plan? You guessed it! There is an infrastructure plan to go with it that includes a new berth with bigger cranes, new storage space and the capacity to service the largest ships in the world. Of course, Lynch could not leave out Brunswick, the nation’s single largest auto port. He highlighted that the GPA would add a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island, 360,000 square feet of new warehousing, and eighty-five additional acres for auto processing to this stellar operation along the southern coastline of the state.

From ambitious New Yorker to successful Georgia Porter, Lynch leads with all the grace and discernment of a true champion, giving credit to his board and his teams for the success realized through the Georgia Ports Authority. To learn more about the GPA and its plans for the future, visit gaports.com, and to find out what’s next for the Gwinnett Chamber, visit our calendar of events at gwinnettchamber.org/events.

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