Georgia Ports Authority Gears Up for Expanded Panama Canal

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has ordered four more Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes from Konecranes for the Port of Savannah, Georgia.

The crane purchases, along with the ongoing Savannah Harbor deepening, anticipate the opening of an expanded Panama Canal, set for this year.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) will deepen the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel from a depth of -42 feet to -47 feet.

All this will provide an important new route for larger vessels calling on the US East Coast, which will shift from an average current capacity of 4,500 TEUs to more than 10,000 TEUs.

In 2015 the Port of Savannah moved an all-time high 3.73 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container units), an increase of 391,356 TEUs, or 11.7 percent, compared to 2014.

“The expansion was fuelled in part by heightened demand in the U.S. Southeast, Savannah’s logistical advantages drawing new customers to Georgia, and cargo diverted from the West Coast,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

The cranes order was received in December 2015 and delivery will be in the first half of 2018.

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