A new service by the largest shipping company in Latin America to the Port of Savannah will increase options for trade to the port, said Page Siplon, executive director for the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics.

“It’s a big deal. Anytime you add a new service and 10 new vessel calls, that creates opportunities for people to export and import,” Mr. Siplon told GlobalAtlanta.

The America Express rotation by Chilean freight company, Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores, began using the port last December, according to a report released by the Center.

The route includes 10 vessels that serve East Asia, the Caribbean and the east coast of the U.S. This is the second rotation by Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores to use the port in the last 18 months.

The increased traffic is a recent indicator of Georgia’s and U.S.’s economic growth in the logistics industry, according to the report released on Jan. 15 by the Center, which keeps track of activity in the transportation and manufacturing sectors.

Mr. Siplon said that these statistics showed that these sectors in the U.S. and Georgia are rebounding. He added that the market report personally put him at ease about the general state of the economy.

“As a citizen, it’s cool to be able to look and feel better about what the economy is doing,” said Mr. Siplon.

The report showed that container traffic to the Port of Savannah was up by 14 percent and vessels carrying auto parts to the Port of Brunswick were up by 34.6 percent in November over the month of October.

The U.S. logistics economy showed improvement as well as the trade deficit shrank by 0.3 percent in November to $38.3 billion, which is the lowest trade deficit in 10 months, according to the report.

Mr. Siplon acknowledged that Georgia’s purchasing managers index, an indicator of manufacturing activity, did drop, but added that this drop is no cause for alarm.

The purchasing managers index, which is compiled from data on new orders, inventory, production, supplier deliveries and employment, dropped by 2.6 to 53.7 in December.

The index operates on a scale of zero to 100 and a ranking of above 50 generally indicates that the manufacturing economy is growing.

Mr. Siplon said that manufacturing and logistics companies should watch for changes in the purchasing manager’s index, but it is only one of many economic indicators.

More information on transportation industries in Georgia and the U.S. is available at the website snapshot.georgialogistics.org where there is also an option to sign up and receive the reports every month.

The Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics works with companies to improve the movement of products within Georgia and around the world. It is located on the Georgia Institute of Technology Savannah campus.

For more information on the Center, visit http://logistics.georgiainnovation.org.