The Port of Savannah recently welcomed additional cargo when Diageo opened its new Southeastern distribution center for imported beer. The distribution center will be operated by Matson Global Distribution Services, a third-party logistics provider.

“We want to thank Diageo for its selection of Savannah and its confidence in our ability to handle its cargo through the port, ” said Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz. “This announcement is further evidence of Savannah’s position as the key Southeast distribution location in the South Atlantic.”

“We are excited to work with the Georgia Ports Authority. Savannah not only boasts one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but is also a perfect location for our regional distribution of Diageo-Guinness brands,” said Erik Snyder, Diageo’s Vice President of Logistics. “We look forward to a strong relationship there as we continue to optimize our supply chain.”

The first Diageo shipment to its new Savannah distribution center arrived on January 14, 2010. This distribution center will primarily handle beer including Guinness, Harp, Red Stripe and Smithwick’s. Previously, Diageo had shipped its Red Stripe brand from Jamaica through the Port of Savannah. Initially volume will be approximately 3,000 twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs annually.

The distribution center’s expedited opening was facilitated by the Georgia Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, the City of Pooler, the GPA and Matson Global Distribution Services, Inc.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $14.9 billion in income, $55.8 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.