The Georgia Ports Authority approved a measure July 14 to acquire 1,518 acres of land on the Savannah River for the development of an ocean container port jointly owned and run by Georgia and South Carolina.

The land in Jasper County, S.C., is currently owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation and will be paid for by the ports authorities of both states.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority is expected to vote in favor of a similar resolution on July 15, and the land transfer deal could close in as little as two weeks, according to a press release from the Georgia authority.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford signed an agreement in January formalizing their cooperation on the joint port, which both sides believe will create conditions necessary to prepare for inevitable future growth in the global economy.

“The acquisition approved today by the Georgia Ports Authority is the next step toward realizing the great potential for international trade and commerce in this region,” Mr. Perdue said in the release.

As stipulated in the initial inter-governmental agreement, the land price is $5,000 per acre, bringing the total cost to nearly $7.6 million.

A Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project Office has been formed to handle business planning, feasibility studies and other operational issues as the project moves forward.

The office’s recommendations will eventually take the form of a report that will go to the states’ legislatures and the U.S. Congress, three bodies that must approve financing and operation of the project.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...