Economic development at the Port of Brunswick: an analysis of the impact of infrastructure improvements
Rivera, Ashley Caron
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Between 1999 and 2007, a series of infrastructure improvements were completed at the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, in order to increase cargo capacity at the port. This paper looks at the port for indications of economic development generated through this infrastructure investment. Infrastructure improvements impact Georgia's economy by making additional cargo throughput possible through the Port of Brunswick by enabling larger cargo vessels to access the port. Additional cargo traffic generates economic opportunity by creating jobs to handle, move, sell and produce this new cargo volume. This analysis investigates what the infrastructure improvements accomplished in terms of improved port operations, what measurable impact they have had on throughput at the port, and associates these changes with economic gains for the State of Georgia. Primary research is used to determine exactly what infrastructure projects were undertaken and how each impacted the port in terms of operations, actual new business and potential growth. This data on increased cargo volumes, realized and potential, is translated into statewide economic impact through existing data on how port traffic affects economic indicators such as output, gross state product, income and employment. The infrastructure improvements created measurable gains at the Port of Brunswick in terms of increased cargo volumes and new business contracts. The effect through the State of Georgia is much greater when economic multipliers are considered.