American Shipper

Savannah ?tidally constrained? port director says

Savannah ôtidally constrainedö port director says

Georgia Ports Authority executive director Doug Marchand said more than half of the container ships calling the Port of Savannah are 'tidally constrained' and cannot carry full loads under all tidal conditions, an Associated Press report said.

   The conditions at Savannah impact shipping services in Florida in several ways. Many inbound Asia services use Savannah as a first port of call on the East Coast. Savannah is also a southbound port call for several South America services. Limitations on vessels in Savannah could encourage global steamship lines to funnel more cargo through alternative ports in Florida.

   There is already a clear trend toward more Asia services using Florida ports, from Tampa to South Florida and Jacksonville. That is due to the large Florida consumer market, but port conditions in Florida and up the South Atlantic Coast also impact carrier service decisions.

   Marchand said Savannah needs to deepen the ship channel in the Savannah River to 48 feet in order to accommodate the larger containerships calling major East Coast ports.