Passage of historic referendum to benefit Georgia’s economy

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) offered congratulations to the people of Panama for passing a referendum that will fully modernize the Panama Canal. The $5.25-billion improvement of the Panama Canal will occur simultaneously with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

‘The future of the global economy relies on the use of the new and larger ships and the expansion of the Panama Canal,’ said Senator Mack Mattingly, Chairman of the GPA. ‘The Panama Canal expansion and the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project are inextricably linked.’

‘The number one priority for the Georgia Ports Authority is deepening the Savannah River from 42 to 48 feet,’ Mattingly continued. ‘And since so much of our trade relies on the flow of traffic through the Panama Canal, the news today is indeed music to our ears.’

Doug J. Marchand, Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), agreed. ‘The Panama Canal expansion project is not only critical to the world economy, but also to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah is home to more direct services to and from Asia via the Panama Canal than any other port on the East Coast. This is a big win for Panama and for Georgia.’

Marchand continued, ‘The Port of Savannah has outperformed and outpaced every other port in the nation when it comes to attracting new services and expanding market share. Savannah’s Compounded Annual Growth Rate outpaced Charleston, Jacksonville, Norfolk, New York, Houston, L.A. and Seattle/Tacoma during the 2000 to 2005 period. This would not have been possible without our close partnership with Panama.’