2017 Georgia State of the Ports Address
One of the largest crowds gathered at this year's Georgia State of the Ports event on October 12. The event took place in the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Guests enjoyed networking and a luncheon while the Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director, Griff Lynch, addressed the group on the state of the ports.
Governor Nathan Deal made an appearance and spoke to the crowd about how much revenue the State of Georgia is bringing in through the ports system. Gov. Deal mentioned that there has been a growth of over 650,000 new jobs since January 2011.
"Let me tell you, the port has a lot to do with those numbers," Deal said.
Under Gov. Deal, the state has seen extraordinary growth. According to the Governor's speech, Georgia was the 10th most populous state in 2011 when he took office and is now the 8th most populous, thanks in part to the growing economy and job growth in the state.
Just in the 2017 fiscal year, there has been 6,400 port jobs added.
Griff Lynch said the main focus is getting the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) completed.
The project includes dike raising, oxygen injection, fresh water impoundment, which will provide a backup supply of water for the city of Savannah, and perhaps the most pressing issue, the Savannah harbor deepening project, which will allow ships to carry heavier loads during transportation, making the ships more effective.
The total completion date for SHEP is 2020.