Charleston, SC – Container volume through the Port of Charleston totaled 132,000 TEUs in January, a 30% increase from the same month last year. Total container exports were up 31% from January 2002, while imports rose 29%.
Through the first seven months of fiscal year 2003 (Jul02-Jan03), Charleston container volume totaled 959,000 TEUs, up 13% from the same period last year. This puts Charleston on pace to top 1.6 million TEUs for the year.
Most of the year-to-date growth came from the North Charleston Terminal, where Evergreen and Mediterranean Shipping Company are the primary customers. But the Wando Welch and Columbus Street Terminals saw increased volume as well.
Despite the increasing business, productivity and safety measures remain high. Vessel productivity in December, Charleston’s third busiest month ever, topped 36.5 moves per crane per hour. And the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s employee accident rate has been reduced, declining nearly 53% since 2000 to one accident for every 29,885 man-hours worked in 2002.
Meanwhile, through the first seven months, the Ports Authority’s operating earnings increased 40% from the same period last year to $9 million on operating revenues of $61.3 million. Ports Authority operations generated $15.9 million in cash flow for reinvestment in existing facilities and debt payments. **