Senator Perdue visits port to get update on Savannah Harbor Expansion Project
The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) is getting closer to being finished.
Senator David Perdue stopped by the port on Friday to see the progress.
He used to sit on the board at the port and said they’ve been trying to get the harbor deepened for 20 years.
It will allow bigger container ships come into the Georgia port.
“Target here somewhere between the next 5 to 10 years, this port could almost double in terms of its capacity,” said Perdue.
For the third year in a row, the project will get full federal funding. The Trump administration approved $130 million dollars for SHEP in 2020.
Edward McCarthy, COO of Georgia Ports Authority said this is very exciting for them.
“Three years in a row, the funding to get this harbor deepening project completed by the end of 2021, we’re just thrilled and we’re happy it’s moving along,” said McCarthy.
Perdue took a tour of the port and checked out how things are coming with the project. He said things are on track and this will be a major benefit for the area.
“But I think bigger than that, because of its geographic location and the layout of the roads, the workforce here, the productivity, it services almost half of America’s consumption,” said Perdue.
By deepening the harbor just five feet, they can bring in ships much larger than what we see now.
“It’s a $282 million savings year on year, every year for the life of this project, so it’s a tremendous benefit to the country,” said McCarthy.
With a deeper port, they can put more containers on ships, bringing down shipping costs.
“The growth in this facility has just been remarkable, it’s the third largest port in the country and the fastest growing port,” said Perdue.
Officials said the state has done a lot with roads and bridges to handle all the increased traffic from the port.
The project will be completed at the end of 2021 at the earliest, or by 2022.