The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has completed the deepening of the harbour at the Port of Savannah in Georgia, US.

Georgia Department of Transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineers and dignitaries joined GPA to mark the completion of the project.

By decreasing tidal restrictions for mega-ships crossing the Savannah River, the project will accelerate the flow of cargo to and from global destinations.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said: “The Port of Savannah is the gateway port for our region and the first choice of businesses serving the US South-East.”

In September 2015, dredging for the Savannah Harbour Expansion Project commenced, adding five feet in depth to the shipping channel.

To provide abundant draft for vessels carrying more than 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units, the Savannah Harbour was deepened to 47ft at mean low water.

The deepening will enable ships to cross the river with more containers each trip, as well as during more hours of the day.

Additionally, the deeper water allows ships to load around 1,000 containers worth of additional cargo, said the GPA.

The deepening project is anticipated to generate more than $291m in annual benefits for the country, according to a Corps of Engineers study.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch said: “A deeper channel means more than just efficient passage for the largest vessels calling the US East Coast. It means continued opportunity, job growth and prosperity for the people of our state.”

Last March, GPA approved approximately $205m for the expansion of Port of Savannah’s container capacity by 20%.