Booming Savannah Port Sees Trade Tensions as Just a Hiccup

  Savannah has bet heavily on attracting a hefty share of the supersize container ships routed through the enlarged Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. Dustin Chambers for The New York Times).

Savannah has bet heavily on attracting a hefty share of the supersize container ships routed through the enlarged Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. Dustin Chambers for The New York Times).

(As published by The New York Times by Patricia Cohen and Natalie Kitroeff) SAVANNAH, Ga. — Savannah’s ocean ports feature skyscraping silver cranes that stand at attention on the water’s edge. Container ships stretch the length of four football fields, with 40-foot containers stacked behind them like multicolored Lego bricks.

But an empty patch of freshly bulldozed dirt is the first spot at the sprawling Garden City Terminal that Griffith Lynch, the executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, wants to show off.

That is the site of a new $127 million rail depot that will enable double-decker trains as long as the National Mall to be loaded right at the port. It is one piece of a larger vision that Mr. Lynch contends Savannah is uniquely positioned to achieve: Shippers here will be able to deliver goods to Midwestern cities in the time it takes other ports to finish heaving cargo off a boat.

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