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The container ship Maersk Karlskrona, right, sails up river past the 300-foot dredge Alaska as it deepens the shipping channel to the port of Savannah off the coast of Tybee Island, Ga., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Ports Authority started the dredging the channel five days ago. The $706 million project, first authorized by Congress in 1999, will deepen the shipping channel traveled by cargo ships along 39 miles of the Savannah River. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

At the Georgia Ports Authority board meeting Monday, Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported a 16.6 percent calendar year to date increase in container volumes, as well as capital projects necessary for future growth.

The Port of Savannah has moved 2.55 million twenty-foot equivalent container units since the start of the calendar year, up 16.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

"The authority's policy of continuous reinvestment in port infrastructure has allowed Georgia's deep-water ports to accommodate unprecedented freight expansion," Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz said.

"Constant improvement in equipment and services helps Savannah maintain its position as the leading gateway to trade for the U.S. Southeast."

At its meeting on Monday, the GPA board approved spending $12.6 million for the third phase of Savannah's yard crane electrification. Reducing diesel consumption by 95 percent per crane, the electric cranes will make up 25 percent of the port's crane fleet by summer 2016.

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