Following a nine-year, $5.2 billion upgrade, the Panama Canal Expansion opened this past April with additions that included a third set of locks and dredging to improve navigational channels. Thanks to the new locks, vessels with up to 14,000 TEUs could pass through which far exceeds the previous maximum of 5,000 TEUs.
American ports must renovate to accomadate new vessels that can now come through, with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) anticipating $9 billion in spending yearly for port renovations. Port of Savannah is one of the many undergoing changes:
Both Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., are in the process of creating more depth in their harbors. A $706 million project began last fall in the Port of Savannah to deepen the Savannah River, but the river is still too shallow to allow the largest possible ships. The project is around 15 percent complete. With these limitations aside, the Port of Savannah has become the fourth largest port in total TEU volume.