Author: Lisa Yannett

What an unbelievable story to hear about this giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week. This container vessel was carrying 18,300 containers of cargo. It is one of the largest container vessels and it ran aground on Tuesday after being lodged sideways across the waterway. I read that it cost the global economy an estimated $400 million dollars per HOUR?!?! Being in the port city of Savannah, this hits close to home. We see these container ships all the time coming in and out of our waterways. I also own a staffing company which works with many distribution centers who rely on these container ships to bring in their products. I am not sure if the Savannah Port was affected by this blockage but I know it hurt a great deal of the economy. Not exactly something we need anytime, but especially not in the middle of a pandemic.

At least 360 ships, carrying everything from cars to oil to grain, wait at the canal’s northern and southern entrances and an additional 300 ships were en route to the canal over the next two weeks. Some ships have already diverted to the African route. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, making it the shortest maritime route to Asia from Europe. Since its completion in 1869, it has become one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes.

I will have to admit that I was not familiar with the Suez Canal. But it has been interesting to learn more about this because of where I live and my business. Thankfully the vessel was freed earlier today but I am wondering how long it will take the economy to recover from yet another misfortune?!?

In a Savannah Morning News opinion piece, Casey Cagle, Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor pointed out that Georgia’s Ports “have harnessed their true potential to generate an engine of economic prosperity for our entire state.” He also noted that “Georgia’s geographic location gives us many strategic advantages…allowing Georgia to serve as the seaport gateway for 80 percent of the nation’s marketplace.”

He explained how “within two days of docking in Savannah, the goods from a vessel can reach over 80 percent of the United States.”  As he noted “businesses can import raw materials and develop finished products all over Georgia. This creates jobs.” 

Great News Horizon Staffing Just Opened a New Location in Pooler at 400 US Hwy 80 West

Georgia Ports Setting Records

From the 10 months (July 2016 to April 2017), Georgia’s seaports in Savannah and Brunswick were ahead of fiscal year 2015’s record-setting pace, according to Griff Lynch, the chief executive of the Georgia Ports Authority. At that juncture, he projected that the total amount of cargo through the two ports would outpace the almost 32 million tons (29 million metric tons) of imports and exports Georgia had in the fiscal year 2015.  That was the busiest year yet for the two ports, but it was helped along by a short-term surge in business due to labor issue on the West Coast. This forced many shippers to reroute a lot of their cargo to ports on the East Coast, including Savannah and Brunswick. Lynch also thought the Port of Savannah would also break the record of 3.6 million container units from 2015 and that it would be a more sustainable, long-term trend.

“What we have going on here is just true, organic growth,” Lynch said during a recent meeting board meeting for the port authority. He attributed some of the growth to the expanded Panama Canal this summer. This has enabled larger ships with weightier loads to come to and move through the Savannah Ports. A more robust economy, evidenced by more imports and exports, has also spurred growth.

Expanded Panama Canal Sends 40% of Traffic to Savannah Port

Cagle also believes the relationship with Panama and its President, Juan Carlos Varela, a Georgia Tech graduate is a “particularly significant” one for Georgia and the ports. Currently, 40% of the traffic that passes through the Panama Canal ends up at the Port of Savannah. This is likely to increase when the harbor is dredged.

From July 2016 to April 2017 (fiscal year 2017) the Savannah and Brunswick ports handled 7.5 percent more total cargo tonnage than they did during the same period last year.

Lisa Yannett, V.P. Horizon Staffing

General Labor Jobs in Garden City Area – Non-TWIC and TWIC Holder Positions Available 

Want a TWIC Card? Find Out How to Get One Here.

“The Savannah metro economy returned to healthy growth in the opening quarter of 2017,” according to Armstrong’s Coastal Economic Monitor.

The local economy put the effects of Matthew behind it in the first quarter of 2017, as the economy saw “gains in total employment, boardings at the airport, retail sales, port activity, and consumer confidence.” But electricity sales did suffer due to a warmer than usual weather in the winter months.

The forecasting Coastal Empire leading economic index increased markedly, a signal that the “underlying indicators shook off the effect of Hurricane Matthew, which dented the economy in the previous quarter.” The regional labor market and housing market got back on track trending positively as they have the last few years. Building permits were a big winner as issuance started to grow again after a lackluster 2016.  New claims for unemployment insurance also dropped to its lowest level in 17 years.

The Coastal Empire coincident economic index increased 1.2% (4.8% annualized) to 178.4 from 176.3 (revised) in the previous quarter. The pace of expansion quickened to more than double that of the previous quarter and returned growth to a level exceeding that experienced during spring and summer 2016.” – Coastal Empire Economic Monitor

Job Outlook

Total employment for the Savannah MSA during the first quarter averaged 178,500. That’s 1,900 jobs (+2%) more than Q4 of 2016. Business/professional services, leisure and hospitality, and retail trade all increased by more than 500 workers, while manufacturing lost 100 jobs.

Savannah Ports

Savannah’s port facilities continued to set records.  For six consecutive months —November through April— the port has set new monthly volume records. So far, seasonally adjusted container handling has grown 4.6% no a quarterly basis. It has jumped 10% from a year-ago.


The tourism industry saw a bit of a lull, as seasonally adjusted hotel room rental revenue ticked down in Q1. This was attributed to “above-average hotel sales along I-95 during the fourth quarter as a result of Hurricane Matthew.” The Monitor predicted that activity would “return to trend growth during the second quarter.” Hotel revenue still outpaced year-ago revenues by  7.7%.

The number of persons taking tours in the city increased 5% and is 5% higher than last year at this point. Boarding at the airport did even better and was up 15% for the quarter and on the year. The leisure and hospitality sector of the economy also saw it’s employment hit an all-time high of 27,900.

Forecasting Index Rises Sharply

The Coastal Empire leading economic index leaped 2.8% percent (+11.8%, annualized), climbing to 158.3 from 154.0 in
the Q of 2016. (See red line on the graph at the top of the article.) Changes in residential home building permit issuance, consumer expectations in the South Atlantic states and the US leading economic index drove the index upwards. In addition, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell significantly following a jump in Q4 of 2017 due to Hurrican Matthew.


The housing market also performed well. Building permit issuance for single-family homes (seasonally adjusted) climbed for the second straight quarter. It jumped 12% from Q4 and 6% from a year ago. So 496 homes have been permitted for construction, 52 more than in Q4 of 2016. But the average valuation of building permits for single-family homes did drop $7,000 from $233,000 to $226,000 or 3% for the first quarter of 2017.


Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the regional job market faded fast after Q4. Initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) plunged 40% to 535 per month for Q1 — the lowest mark since spring of 2000. In Q4 of 2016, the jobless filed 898 claims.  The regional unemployment rate also decreased from 5.1% (Q4/2016) to 4.8% (Q1/2017). from 5.1% in the previous quarter. By comparison, the unemployment rate stood at 5.2% in Q1 of 2016.

Bottom Line

After a temporary setback in Q4 of 2016, the Savannah regional economy is back on track and outpacing its performance in 2016. The Monitor expects this show of strength to continue through the rest of 2017.


Hinesville Dept. of Labor


Monday, February 13 from 9-11am

Positions Need:

Distribution center in Midway, Ga is looking for:

  • General Laborers
  • Maintenance Mechanics
  • Packers
  • Shipping and Receiving

All positions require submitting to drug test & criminal background check

Bring 2 ID’s to show identity & eligibility to work in US

CALL TODAY(912) 662-8522 for immediate interview 


Apply Online Now




$9 to $11 Hourly

Benefits Offered


Employment Type


Put your TWIC to use!

General Labor, Forklift, Clamp and Slipsheet Operator positions open


  • TWIC Card
  • GA Ports Credentials
  • Safety vest
  • Ability to lift 20lbs to 50lbs
  • Ability to stand for 8+ hours

Job Descriptions

  • General Laborer
  • Warehouse work.
  • Unloading cartons onto carts
  • Loading cartons into out going trailers.
  • Stack pallets by hand
  • Place appropriate labels/stickers on boxes
  • Shrink wrap by hand
  • Secure wrapped boxes with straps
  • Forklift Driver
  • Following all safety guidelines for forklifts
  • Loading and unloading trailers
  • Putting away product in a timely manner
  • Clamp Operator
  • Experience required

Please apply in the office on a Tuesday or Thursday between the hours of 9am and 11am. Must be willing to submit to background check and drug test and must provide 2 forms of identification to show US employment eligibility and Identification. Must have a valid TWIC to work on the GA Ports.

About Horizon Staffing, Inc.:

We are a full-service staffing service which places temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire applicants. We have been in business over 40 years.

This position is a direct hire position.

All Jobs at Horizon Staffing, Inc.