Industry: Major Manufacturers

The Savannah MSA’s manufacturing firms created approximately 21.2% of the area’s economic output as measured by GDP, accounting for $3.6 billion of output in 2015. As of mid-2016, the number of manufacturing establishments in the Savannah CSA was 349 firms employing 20,614 workers. The average weekly wage was $1,647 for manufacturing establishments in the Savannah MSA.

Forecast: Manufacturing

Savannah’s manufacturing sector demonstrated its strength in 2016 and is expected to maintain its pace into 2017.  Gulfstream Aerospace hit its ninth consecutive quarter of operating earnings in excess of $400 million in late 2016. Contributing to this was a notable milestone – the delivery of the 200th G650, and with orders backlogged until 2018, there is ample work for Gulfstream in the coming year. Current testing for the newest large-cabin models, the G500 and G600 are progressing.  Approval from the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency for the G500 are set for 2017, with sales expected for 2018.  The G600 is close behind in production, with initial flight testing in late 2016 and continuing in 2017 with expected delivery in 2018.

In 2016, JCB’s headquarters in Pooler received its largest single-vessel shipment to date: over 400 machines from its United Kingdom manufacturing facility, worth over $35 million.  Upon completion of inspection and configuration in Pooler, JCB will ship these machines nation-wide to distributors for sale to customers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.  JCB also recently announced a 10-year $62.7 million contract to provide the U.S. Department of Defense with rough terrain forklifts, associated equipment, and training. Since 2005, JCB has been awarded near $320 million in defense contracts, thus prompting a move of the headquarters of the company’s military division to Savannah.

2016 was notable for the exceptional level of cooperation of the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) with local government. Chatham County Commissioners approved $3 million from retail sales tax proceeds for the acquisition of 614 acres for a SEDA-marketed industrial park to host up to 3.5 million square feet of industrial space. Further, SEDA, the City of Savanah, and Chatham County reached an agreement to create and fund the Savannah Area Film Office, hosted in SEDA offices, to support and regionalize the recruitment of film industry projects. In addition, SEDA has committed $1.5 million to fully fund incentives for qualifying film industry projects in Chatham County.
In Bryan County, Daniel Defense, an engineer and manufacturer of rifles and accessories for the military and commercial marketplace, is consolidating all operations in a 260,000 square foot facility in Bryan County’s Interstate Centre industrial park. This $29.5 million project is scheduled for completion during the summer 2017. The consolidation will bring the company to 215 total employees in Bryan County. The company’s presence in Bryan County dates from 2009.

The Effingham County Industrial Development Authority expects to break ground in 2017 for the Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub (Omnitrax Development). This 2,600 acre dual-rail served industrial park near Rincon has the capacity to host up to 20 million square feet of industrial space. Also, preliminary infrastructure development for the industrial park at I-16 North are completed and marketing of the site will commence in 2017. DRT America, a French-based company, expects to open a $43 million facility in 2017.

In Liberty County, economic conditions remained on the upswing in manufacturing and distribution. Employment growth continued at Arconic (formerly Alcoa and Firth-Rixson) in the Tradeport East Business Center, while BOSS Hugo Boss invested in new equipment and signed a major extension of its lease with the Liberty County Development Authority in the Midway Industrial Park. 

Overall, 2016 was a year of relative strength for the region’s manufacturing sector. Over 600 jobs were added to manufacturing payrolls, a gain of 3.4%. Manufacturing employment growth in 2017 is expected to match and possible exceed that of 2016.   

Manufacturers, Savannah / Ft. Stewart / Hinesville CMSA


Product County Employees

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Jet aircraft, aerospace equipment CH 9,878
SNF Chemicals LI 1,016
Georgia-Pacific Corporation/Fort Howard Group Paper products EF 900
International Paper Paper Products CH 661
JCB Inc. Skidsteer Loaders, Backhoes CH 540
Brasseler USA

Dental Instruments

CH 405
Mitsubishi Power Systems Turbines CH 320
Strength of Nature Global Hair Care Products CH 300
Weyerhaeuser Bleached pulp CH 285
Derst Baking Co. Baked goods CH 274
Chatham Steel Corporation Metal Manufacturing CH 265
Diamond Crystal Brand Refined Sugar CH 250
Kerry Ingredients and Flavours Formulation, food, flavors CH 230
Arconic Aluminum and Aerospace Forgings LI 230
Edwards Interiors Aerospace Aerospace parts/furnishings EF 218
Interstate Paper Linerboard LI 210
International Greeting Cards Greeting Cards LI 200
MacAljon Affiliates Industrial Contracting BR 200
Roger Woods Foods Inc. Smoked Sausage, Meats CH 190
Arizona Chemical Compnay Chemicals CH 188
Georgia Transformers Transformers EF 176
Johnson Matthey Process Technologies Catalyst Production CH 160
Lummus Corporation Cotton Ginning Equipment CH 156
Daniel Defense Weapons/Components Manufacturer BR 152
EMD Chemicals Chemicals CH 151
Oracal, USA Industrial Tapes BR 147
Ceasarstone Technologies USA Quartz Surfaces BR 146
The Industrial Company (TIC) SE Steel Fabrication CH 136
Coastal Concrete SE Ready Mix Concrete CH 125
Fuji Vegetable Oil Cooking Oils CH 106
Precision Machine of Savannah Aviation Machine Shop CH 103
River Street Sweets Gourmet Foods CH 100
DIRTT Environmental Solutions Sustainable Interior Construction CH 100
Source: Georgia Department of Labor, SEDA, Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Development Authority of Bryan County, Liberty County Development Authority, retrieved 12/2016. Note: BR is Bryan County, CH is Chatham County, EF is Effingham County, LI is Liberty County.


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