The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Georgia ports impact on Dublin
Between the dredging of the Savannah River and further construction down the road, the Georgia Ports Authority is bringing in more cargo daily.
That means more 18-wheelers on 1-16 and 75.
We often discuss the safety concerns of more vehicles on the road, but more ships docking off the coast means more career opportunities for Central Georgia.
Staurt Falls is the CEO of San-Gobein.
"One of the key factors in deciding to invest here in Georgia is the local supply chain, and obviously, the Savannah Port plays a massive part in that," he said.
San-Gobein takes the glass and uses it to make construction products.
Right now, they've got 50 people on the payroll in Dublin but when they ramp up Falls says they'll add another 350.
"We have a big plant in the Czech Republic, so in terms of that supply chain and between the two plants, the Savannah Port is crucial for us," Falls explained.
They're not alone.
Five minutes away from that plant sits an industrial park, over 300 acres, and it's set to open in a couple of weeks.
It's just another example of how the port authority significantly impacts Central Georgia and Laurens County.
Think of the Georgia Ports as a rainbow of sorts, and you'll find the pot of gold in Dublin.
Jimmy Allgood is with the Laurens county development authority.
"It's a very exciting time to be a part of Dublin and Laurens County," Allgood said with a smile.
He says with more upgrades, the ports authority will move four million containers from here out into Georgia.
"A vast majority comes down I-16," he said.
The Laurens County Development Authority estimates over the last three years, the ports have directly brought more than 775 jobs here, creating an economic impact of more than $66 million - and that's just in this county.
"Peterbilt has come here logistic wise we've had the Loves and the Pilots come in, and all of these are related to 1-16 and the Georgia Ports," Allgood explained.
Allgood says they've got even more plans for progress.
"We are working on a triangulation which is containers coming to Washington County coming back from Atlanta. As far as warehousing, they need a point where they can change these without going all the way to the port, and that's the triangulation part we're working here in Dublin to do," he said.
It's 118 miles between Dublin and the port, but the benefits drive big business in Central Georgia.
Thanks to the ports, other businesses that have recently come to Laurens County include Ascenso Tires of North America and Perry Ellis International.
Additionally, Friendly Gus, Peterbilt of Dublin and other companies have grown in Dublin-Laurens County because of increased commercial truck traffic on Interstate 16.