Georgia Ports Authority

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project


One of the most important and productive civil works projects in the country, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will support jobs and commerce throughout the nation. The total economic impact of Georgia's deepwater ports on Georgia’s economy is $84 billion. The Georgia Ports Authority supports more than 369,000 jobs and approximately $20.4 billion in personal income annually.

  • Deepening is underway with completion as early as 2020.

  • After 15 years of study, all relevant governmental agencies have approved the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), which will deepen the Savannah River to 47 feet at mean low water.

  • In 2015, the Panama Canal expansion will be completed and increase the maximum draft of vessels transiting to and from the U.S. East Coast from 39.5 feet to as much as 50 feet.

  • SHEP will enable the port to more efficiently serve the larger vessels expected to call in greater numbers after the 2016 expansion of the Panama Canal.

  • For every dollar spent on SHEP, 5.5 dollars will be returned in benefits to the nation, a Corps of Engineers study showed.

  • Larger shipping vessels will mean lower costs per container. Businesses will see savings of $213 million a year.

  • The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project has received strong bipartisan support at both federal and state levels since its original authorization.

  • Georgia has approved $231.1 million in bonds toward the state’s share of construction costs.

The Georgia Ports Authority connects the Southeast’s economy to the markets of the world, generating opportunities for the entire region.