The expansion of the Panama Canal, completed less than a year ago, is already having an impact on commerce at the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah.

"We’re seeing bigger ships come in to the U.S. East Coast, which is going to benefit everybody," Cliff Pyron, chief commercial officer at the Georgia Ports Authority, told Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members who toured the port during the IFBF Presidents Incentive Trip to Savannah. "As the ships get bigger — and they are getting bigger, our channel has to be able to handle them."

The new Panamax ships can accommodate up to 14,000 containers, compared to the ships now coming into Savannah that carry a maximum 10,000 to 12,000 containers, Pyron said.

In order to ...