Savannah ports make Atlanta attractive location for Amazon HQ2

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Members of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce got an update on the Georgia Ports Authority's harbor deepening project and how it impacts their businesses.

The Georgia Ports Authority says it's already seeing a return on the project. The general manager for the Ports Economic and Industrial Development, Stacy Watson, says companies and businesses are looking to send goods to Savannah because the port can handle the larger ships with more containers.

"We actually have had more calls by the big ships that are over 7,000 TU capacity, more calls than any other port on the East Coast so we're doing well as far as the harbor deepening is concerned," Watson said.

The Georgia Port is also playing a key role in Atlanta's bid to become the future home of Amazon's second headquarters. Amazon announced Atlanta as one of the top 20 finalists for the new headquarters, which they're nicknaming 'HQ2.'

The Savannah port will be able to handle bigger ships the deeper it is.  So that makes the port a selling point when Georgia leaders talk business with Amazon.

The City of Savannah can expect to see more giant containerships once the deepening project is complete, and that may give Atlanta a slight edge to be selected.

"I do know that Amazon looks to serve that Atlanta market, and I do know that we are the port that offers the best service to Atlanta," Watson said.

The Savannah port is the fourth busiest container port in the nation and the fastest growing container port, Savannah's capacity to move products could be an alluring factor for Amazon.

"Amazon is one of our bigger customers. I'm not 100 percent sure as far as where we are in the process of being selected for HQ2, but I do know that Amazon is a very important customer for us," Watson said.

You may be wondering why the 20 city finalists are fighting so hard to become the location of Amazon's HQ2. It's because the winning city can expect around 50,000 new jobs and an economic blast of $5 billion dollars.

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