When it comes to global supply chains, finding the fastest and most economical way to get product from the factory to its destination is essential for every type of company – whether you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer. The challenge for U.S. importers is that the best solution is seldom obvious, because there are so many choices of ports and distance within the country that product has to move once it arrives. This means developing the most efficient distribution strategy requires a specific understanding how your choice of port location will affect things like warehousing, drayage, and inland shipping costs, as well warehousing expense and transit-times.

An importer’s choice of port needs to consider more than just rates, too. Relying on ports with poor infrastructure or limited carrier and equipment availability, may be limiting to your company’s ability to best serve its customers and to grow.

The point is that it would be helpful to many importers if they’d look closer at their options for choosing a port of entry. And, then all the factors are consider, a lot would realize they’ve made a mistake by overlooking the U.S east coast Port of Savannah. Here are some reasons why.

Port of Savannah Advantages:

Savannah is the second largest port on the east coast, growing at 25% per annum with servicing trade lanes and first port of call on most strings. As the first port of call, shippers can access sub-continent markets at lower freight costs. With advantages such as lower collect transportation costs for retailers to the DC network and reduced inventory carrying and operating costs, it makes sense that awareness of the Port of Savannah is on the rise for many importers looking to increase their gross margins.

Given the Baby Boomer shift to the southeast and the fact that 66% of the consumer population is located east of the Mississippi river, major retailer distribution centers are also a lot more concentrated in this region. The location’s appeal has further increased because of recent legislative changes made to the Panama and Suez Canals due to the impact they’ve had on decreases in transit time, improvements in costs per TEU, increases in carrier capacity, and quicker turnarounds.

Since 84% of U.S. consumers can be reached within 2 day ground parcel service through this port, shippers can hugely benefit from the region’s quicker speed to market capabilities in addition to the lower freight costs it provides.

Overall, factors like ocean freight cost reductions per TEU combined with cheaper Savannah drayage and real-estate expenses are what make the Port of Savannah an ideal alternative to less neutral gateways, such as California.

For those unable to make the shift themselves, working with reliable third-party logistics providers that have resources and connections tied to the location offers another less expensive solution. 3PLs, like O’Neill Logistics, with conveniently located facilities can save you from having to strain company resources as well as provide invaluable logistics expertise.