What’s next for Georgia’s busy seaport

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The 600-foot freighter Kaan Kalkavan travels up the Savannah River to the Port of Savannah in 2014. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM.

The 600-foot freighter Kaan Kalkavan travels up the Savannah River to the Port of Savannah in 2014. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM.
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The 600-foot freighter Kaan Kalkavan travels up the Savannah River to the Port of Savannah in 2014. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM.

3) Now the second largest port on the East Coast, Savannah is currently on track to expand its capacity to 7.5 million shipping containers per year. In February, officials announced plans to add almost 30% more capacity. The new goal is to reach 9.5 million over the next three years, said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

4) Freight traffic to the Georgian ports of Savannah and Brunswick has increased in recent years. In Savannah, port officials say that’s largely because of the opening of the expanded Panama Canal.

5) Last year, about 5.6 million containers passed through Savannah, about 20% more than in 2020. Most of the goods were incoming and not outgoing, in the context of a significant trade deficit.

Our partner, The Savannah Morning News, and AJC writers Michael Kanell, J. Scott Trubey and Tamar Hallerman contributed to this article.

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In this photo provided by the Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a ceremony marking the completion of the Port of Savannah Deepening, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Savannah, Georgia. Deepening the Port of Savannah to 47 feet at mean low water (the average depth at low tide), provides sufficient draft for ships carrying more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers, allowing ships to transit the river with more containers on each trip and for more hours of the day. (AP Photo/Port Authority of Georgia, Stephen Morton)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

In this photo provided by the Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a ceremony marking the completion of the Port of Savannah Deepening, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Savannah, Georgia.  Deepening the Port of Savannah to 47 feet at mean low water (the average depth at low tide), provides sufficient draft for ships carrying more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers, allowing ships to transit the river with more containers on each trip and for more hours of the day.  (AP Photo/Port Authority of Georgia, Stephen Morton)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

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In this photo provided by the Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a ceremony marking the completion of the Port of Savannah Deepening, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Savannah, Georgia. Deepening the Port of Savannah to 47 feet at mean low water (the average depth at low tide), provides sufficient draft for ships carrying more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers, allowing ships to transit the river with more containers on each trip and for more hours of the day. (AP Photo/Port Authority of Georgia, Stephen Morton)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Previous coverage of this issue by AJC

From Our Press Partner: After 20+ Years, Port of Savannah Expansion Project Completed, More Growth Expected

February 2022: Georgian port of Savannah plans major expansion amid record shipments

January 2022: Georgia Ports breaks freight records in 2021

2020: Trump’s budget calls for $93.6 million this year for Savannah Port Deepening

2018: Federal government approves record funding for Savannah Port Deepening

2014: Deepening of the port of Savannah, a rare triumph of bipartisanship

Pros and Cons of 2011: Should Georgia Spend Millions to Deepen Savannah Port?