Port of Savannah attracting bigger vessels
December 13, 2010
The CMA CGM Figaro made its second call on the Port of Savannah late last week, signaling a sign of things to come.
“As one of the larger vessels calling on the U.S. East Coast, the Figaro allows American companies to better compete on a global scale by loading more exports and transporting them overseas quicker,” said port spokesmen.
The 8,500-twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity vessel covers the U.S. West Coast, Far East and U.S. East Coast trade via the Suez Canal.
Like the neighboring ports of Charleston, and Jacksonville, Savannah is aggressively pursuing anticipated “post-Panamax” traffic that will be generated in 2014 with the widening of the Canal.
In order to more efficiently handle vessels like the Figaro, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) will deepen the river from its current 42 foot depth to as much as 48 feet. This project – one of the most important and productive civil works projects in the country – will maintain and create jobs and commerce throughout the region. ?
“Making ports attractive as part of a routing option may be about focusing on responsiveness,” said Mary Burns, who heads the Port Performance Research Network, at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia.
In an interview with LM, she said Savannah is one of the fastest growing ports in the nation.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 295,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $15.5 billion in income, $61.7 billion in revenue and $2.6 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.
Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz told LM earlier this year that the GPA’strategic planning has ensured that Georgia’s deepwater ports are poised to handle the growth demands necessary to advance economic development and opportunity.
“Even during the recessionary conditions experienced during the past two years, the GPA has continued to invest for the future to ensure growth can be handled more efficiently than ever,” he said.
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