Georgia Ports Authority

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

Harbor deepening moves into construction phase

The Georgia Ports Authority connects the Southeast’s economy to markets of the world, generating opportunities for the entire region. As the nation’s fastest growing and fourth-busiest container port, the Port of Savannah handles more than 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units per year for more than 21,000 U.S. businesses. 



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 is $67 billion. The Georgia Ports Authority supports more than 352,000 jobs and approximately $18.5 billion in personal income annually.

  • After more than 15 years of study, construction has begun on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), which will deepen the 18.5-mile outer harbor to 49 feet at mean low water and the Savannah River channel to 47 feet.

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

  • With construction under way, dredging will be completed as early as 2019.  

  • Georgia has approved $266 million in bonds to cover the state’s projected share of construction costs.

  • Lower prices per container slot on Post-Panamax vessels will benefit U.S. companies moving goods through Savannah, saving 20 to 40 percent on transportation.

  • Savannah offers a complete logistics package, with direct interstate access, on-terminal rail, near-port distribution centers and a location that is 100 miles closer to Atlanta than any other port.