With the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project back in the news recently, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch provided the following update on the project:
“Currently, the Savannah River entrance channel deepening is approximately 60 percent complete. In the near future, this portion of the project will benefit ship traffic by opening a wider tidal window and greater scheduling flexibility for neo-Panamax vessels – those ships that can now fit through the Panama Canal’s expanded locks.”
Already, the Port of Savannah is serving vessels up to 10,700 TEUs, and is expected to handle a 13,000 TEU vessel in May, Lynch said.
“We are working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our elected officials in Washington, and Gov. Nathan Deal’s office to ensure that the appropriate funding is in place to complete the Savannah Harbor deepening in a timely manner,” he said.
Although the estimated cost of the project has recently increased to $973 million, Lynch pointed out that the Corps has also released new benefit projections.
“The benefit-to-cost ratio of the project has significantly increased from 5.5:1, to 7.3:1, making it one of the largest returns on investment to taxpayers of any navigation project in the country.
“In addition, the net benefit of cost savings for shippers and consumers increased from $174 million per year to $282 million per year - an improvement of more than $100 million in benefit returned to the nation every year for the next 50 years.”
Lynch said the expected total savings to the nation during this 50-year span is $14.1 billion, a 62 percent increase over the original estimated benefit of $8.7 billion.
“In fact, cost savings to shippers and cargo owners in one year alone is more than the additional cost of the project,” he said.
While beachgoers may see the offshore dredges working, much of the work on SHEP isn’t as visible. Here is the latest progress report:
- Contribution to the striped bass stocking program – complete
- Purchase of 2,245 acres of wetlands for Savannah National Wildlife Refuge mitigation – complete
- Removal of CSS Georgia – 80 percent complete
- Deepen entrance channel to 49 feet and extend seven miles – 55 percent complete
- Construct dissolved oxygen systems – 28 percent complete
- Construct raw water storage impoundment – 65 percent complete
- Remove tidal gates, abutments – 48 percent complete.
- Raise disposal area dikes – 64 percent complete
Completion of the massive project can’t come soon enough for the nation’s retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports, including Savannah, should continue to see strong increases throughout the spring and summer as the nation’s economy improves.
“Consumers are spending more, and these import numbers show that retailers expect that to continue for a significant period,” NRF vice president Jonathan Gold said. “This is a clear sign that the economy has long-term momentum regardless of month-to-month fluctuations. Whether it’s merchandise for store shelves or parts for U.S. factories, imports play a vital role in American prosperity.”
Senior business reporter Mary Carr Mayle covers the ports for the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow. She can be reached at 912-652-0324 or at email@example.com.
Following are the ships expected to call on Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City and Ocean terminals this week. Schedules are supplied by GPA and are subject to change.
TERMINAL VESSEL ETA
GCT MARGARETE SCHULTE Today
GCT MAERSK WINNIPEG Today
GCT HANOI BRIDGE Today
GCT MAERSK KOTKA Today
GCT CAFER DEDE Today
GCT ATB FREEPORT Today
GCT MOL BENEFACTOR Today
GCT MAERSK DETROIT Today
GCT MSC MONICA Today
GCT COSCO VIETNAM Saturday
GCT ST LOUIS EXPRESS Saturday
GCT ANGELES Saturday
GCT BUXCLIFF Saturday
GCT ITAL USODIMARE Saturday
GCT APL TURKEY Saturday
OT TAMERLANE Saturday
GCT MSC ASYA Sunday
GCT MSC ALESSIA Sunday
GCT ARNOLD MAERSK Sunday
GCT EVER LEARNED Sunday
GCT PRIORITY Sunday
GCT APL BARCELONA Sunday
GCT MSC ANISHA R. Sunday
GCT SAFMARINE MAKUTU Monday
GCT COSCO GUANGZHOU Monday
GCT MAERSK KENSINGTON Monday
GCT DALIAN EXPRESS Monday
GCT MSC GENEVA Monday
GCT MSC ANIELLO Monday
GCT WIDUKIND Tuesday
GCT MOL MODERN Tuesday
GCT ZIM TEXAS Tuesday
GCT CHEMBULK NEW ORLEANS Tuesday
OT MORNING CINDY Tuesday
OT GENCO BAY Tuesday
GCT MAERSK KOKURA Wednesday
GCT SEASPAN NINGBO Wednesday
GCT ARIAN Wednesday
OT LOCOMOTION Wednesday
GCT MOEN ISLAND Thursday
GCT ZIM HAIFA Thursday
GCT BUXCOAST Thursday
GCT NYK ROMULUS Thursday
GCT BREVIK BRIDGE Thursday
OT GRANDE SIERRA LEONE Thursday