Georgia Ports Authority



Teaming up with GPA to serve the Southeast

The Southeastern U.S. has the fastest growing population of any region in the nation. Supplying that market with high-value products while keeping costs low for the customer is central to Target’s brand identity. The Port of Savannah plays a key role in delivering on that promise.
- Joshua Dolan • Senior Director of International Transportation • Target

Founded as Dayton Dry Goods Company in 1902 by George D. Dayton in Minneapolis, the company now known as Target has had an innovative approach to business from the outset.


Photo: Target operates a cross-dock facility (foreground) and a 2.1 million square foot warehouse in Savannah (top right). 


As early as 1920, the company began moving goods from New York to Minneapolis by plane to avoid cargo disruptions – helping to pave the way for a new method of transporting merchandise across the United States. Just over 40 years later, the Dayton Company formed a discount chain store, which would come to be known as Target. By 1969, Target had opened its first distribution center, in Fridley, Minn.

In 1989, the growing company made a big push into the Southeast — opening 30 new stores in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. The move established Target as a national retailer with stores from coast-to-coast.

To support its stores across the Southeast, Target established a distribution center in 2007 in Savannah — a facility that, at 2.1 million square feet, dwarfed their first DC. The company also operates a 1.5 million square-foot distribution center in Tifton and another 1.5 million square feet in Midway, Ga., — making its warehousing footprint in Georgia more than 5 million square feet.

“We decided to grow our presence in Georgia in large part because of the ease of doing business through the Port of Savannah,” said Joshua Dolan, Senior Director of International Transportation for Target. “Because the container operation is on a single, 1,200-acre terminal, the turn times for trucks carrying our cargo are much faster. Combined with direct access to interstates 95 and 16, Savannah gives us great access, great customer service and no congestion delays.”

Target stages cargo coming off ships at its Savannah location, while the Tifton and Midway sites manage distribution to stores across the region.

“Target works in close partnership with suppliers around the world,” said Dolan. “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to not only deliver more value to our customers, but also strengthen the communities where we do business.”