Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are examining whether inspections at offshore ports, rather than at points-of-entry in the United States, could meet security requirements and also improve supply chain productivity for U.S. importers, according to Chip White, executive director of the newly-formed Savannah Maritime Logistics Innovation Center.

The logistics project is one of many research efforts the center, a partnership between the Georgia Ports Authority and the University System of Georgia, is to undertake, aimed at developing port management and security strategies in Savannah for commercialization worldwide.

Based on findings for this project and others, the center hopes to influence port security policy at the local and national level, he said.

“Weighing the new security regulations, we are looking for creative ways to make Georgia’s ports more efficient for major users,” said Dr. White, who also serves as a chaired professor of transportation and logistics Georgia Tech’s industrial and systems engineering school.  “This will ultimately help attract new business to the port.”

The logistics center also plans to attract new port service providers to Savannah, including start-up companies with port-related technology to test.

“We want to bring creative knowledge workers to Savannah as a source of economic development for the city,” said Dr. White. 

             He added that the center would work with port officials to target vendor and service providers with security and logistics technology that could be incorporated into port operations.

            Georgia universities involved in the port-university system research initiative include Armstrong Atlantic University, Georgia Southern University and Georgia Tech.

For additional information, contact Dr. White at (404) 894-0235.