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Savannah Port’s shipping capacity strengthened following completion of dredging project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced today that dredging for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) is officially complete. 

SHEP deepened a 32-mile stretch of the Savannah River from 42 feet to 47 feet, allowing the harbor to accommodate the deep-draft Post Panamax ships that now dominate international container trade.

Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), who has been SHEP’s champion since 2005 when he served in the Georgia State Legislature, applauded the GPA for this accomplishment:

“The shipping industry has had a tough year, and the Savannah Port was not immune to the worldwide supply chain crunch. That makes today’s announcement even more exciting, because it marks the beginning of an invigorated, vibrant rebirth of the Savannah Port,” said Carter. “Georgia is already a global shipping leader, and now we are building the infrastructure to sustain and grow this crucial part of our local economy for decades to come.”

The efficiency of these larger vessels operating in the Savannah River Channel is a game-changer in terms of transportation efficiency and cost reduction. In Savannah, for example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ validated studies show that for every dollar spent on SHEP, $7.30 in net benefits will be returned to the taxpayers. That would generate $282 million in annual savings once the channel is completed, or roughly $14 billion for the estimated 50-year life span of the project. Trade through the Port of Savannah already serves some 30,000 companies and generated around $6.1 billion in federal tax revenue.