- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - The Port of Savannah is welcoming its first cargo ship arriving through the expanded Panama Canal.

The Georgia Ports Authority says the MOL Benefactor docked Wednesday morning at the port’s Garden City terminal. With a capacity of 10,000 container units, it’s the largest ship ever to call on the Port of Savannah.

The giant ship arrived less than four weeks after the Panama Canal opened its expanded locks. Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, called it “a new era of larger vessels and services” coming to Savannah.

The biggest ships calling on Savannah can’t yet carry full loads because the Savannah River is too shallow. A $706 million deepening of the shipping channel began last fall. The Ports Authority says the work is 15 percent complete.

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