Materials shipping firm Plastic Express is building two new facilities near Savannah, Ga., as part of an investment of more than $172 million.
The new locations in that area's Port Logistics Center will create 166 new jobs, according to an April 24 news release from the office of Gov. Brian Kemp.
In the release, Kemp said that the investment by Plastic Express, which is based in City of Industry, Calif., "will not only be felt in terms of job creation and investment, but they will be one of the top five export customers for the Georgia Ports Authority."
Plastic Express operates trucking terminals, warehouse facilities, transloading docks, and packaging plants across the country, including a bulk transload facility in Dalton, Ga. The new operations in Pooler, Ga., are expected to open on Oct. 1.
"We are very happy to plant our flag in Savannah," Plastic Express President and CEO Ray Hufnagel said in the release. "Plastic Express has been searching for a strategic opportunity in every viable port location in the Southeast for a few years."
"The impressiveness of the Port of Savannah's operations, along with Georgia's welcoming business climate, has made Savannah the clear and obvious choice for us," he added.
The Plastic Express project "is a game-changer and makes Georgia a leader in the Southeast for the export of resins," Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said.
"With growth accelerating in the American energy sector, [Gulf Coast]-area refineries will require alternate export capacity, and the Port of Savannah stands ready to serve that need," he added.
Plastic Express was founded in 1970 and offers bulk trucking, bulk terminal, packaging, and warehousing needs for the plastics industry. In addition to plastic resins, the firm's PX Services unit handles non-plastic materials including steel, paper, lumber, and other industrial, consumer, and forest products.
Many plastics shipping firms have expanded in North American in recent years to handle large resin capacity expansions. This new capacity — mostly in polyethylene — has been added through increased access to natural gas feedstocks from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.