Savannah, Ga. – January 13, 2015 – Gulf States Cold Storage has announced a 55,000 square-foot expansion at its Savannah location.
“The Georgia Ports Authority welcomes this private investment in Savannah’s refrigerated cargo market,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Gulf States’ growth will enable a 20 percent increase in their blast freezing capacity, and a 100 percent increase in storage for poultry and other proteins.”
John Dean, vice president of sales at Gulf States, said the additional infrastructure should be operational by the end of January.
“Currently, we are blasting around 3 million pounds a week; with the expansion, we will be close to 5 million pounds a week,” Dean said. “We will be adding a dock with five new doors, to go with the 18 doors already in use.”
In August of 2013, Gulf States Cold Storage opened a 100,000-square-foot facility in Savannah, less than 10 miles from GPA’s Garden City Terminal. The cold storage area is maintained at -12 degrees Fahrenheit, while the blast cells reach as low as -35 degrees. Most of the cargo is moved on racks, however the facility also features a bulk staging area for transload operations.
With the addition, Gulf States will double its storage capacity to a total of 28 million pounds of frozen cargo.
“We want to grow with the port of Savannah,” Dean said. “I think it is very important for businesses such as ours to keep up with the capacity that can be handled through the port.”
The Port of Savannah can accommodate more than 2,000 refrigerated containers at a time.
“I only see the port offering more in the future, and I think it might entice more producers to move into the state of Georgia,” Dean said. “This is yet another reason that we want to expand our capabilities in Savannah.”
Gulf States handles the export of poultry, beef, pork and seafood, as well as some frozen vegetables – a growing business segment. Dean said the company also anticipates the growth of frozen imports. Produce such as onions grown in South America – which has an opposite growing season from the U.S. – are brought in through Savannah to supply the Southeast during the winter months. The GPA is also participating in a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program bringing in South American citrus, grapes and blueberrries.
“I think that imports are going to be a big part of our future,” Dean said. “With the demand for export boxes in Savannah, I think you will see more and more imports coming in through GPA.”
Along with the new space, Gulf States will be adding 12 to 14 jobs. The site currently employs 35 people.
In addition to the Savannah refrigerated cargo storage, the company operates peanut warehouses in Andalusia, Ala., and Blakely, Ga., as well as freezing facilities in Americus and Columbus, Ga., Dothan, Ala., and Shreveport, La.
About Gulf States Cold Storage:
Georgia Cold Storage Company was founded in the 1960s with one of the original founders being Henry L. Crisp. Henry and his family still own the company and he currently serves as board chairman. In 1998 his son, John L. Crisp came to work for the company and now serves as President and CEO. The original peanut cooler warehouse was in Americus, Ga., with the Blakely, Ga., warehouse being purchased in 1999. In 2002, the Columbus warehouse was purchased and the company began serving the poultry exporting industry in Columbus and Americus. In 2005, the Crisp family started a sister company named “Gulf States Cold Storage Co.” This company initially purchased warehouses in Andalusia, Ala., and Dothan, Ala. In 2007, the family purchased its Shreveport, La., location.
Find print-quality images of port operations here. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.9 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2013.
For additional information, please contact GPA’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855. Visit the GPA web site at www.gaports.com.