Celebrating Jim’s 10 Years – SC Ports Authority

Celebrating Jim’s 10 Years

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Imagine the Next 10


“The best people lead to the best outcomes, and through cooperation and collaboration, we have worked together to build this port up. Our future is very bright, and our best years are ahead.”

SC Ports Authority President & CEO Jim Newsome

Jim Newsome, SC Ports President & CEO

SC Ports Authority has undergone a major renaissance over the past decade, readying itself to flourish in the future.

Jim Newsome, president and CEO, is the driving force behind SCPA’s significant growth and strategic initiatives. In September 2019, SC Ports celebrated 10 years of Newsome’s leadership.

The Early Years

Newsome arrived at SCPA in September 2009 with numerous challenges before him — container volumes were declining, and the United States was reeling from one of the worst recessions in history.

Newsome led a turnaround effort, resulting in container volumes doubling since 2009. This growth has supported major infrastructure projects, including renovating Columbus Street Terminal in downtown Charleston, upgrading Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant, building Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston and undertaking the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project to achieve a 52-foot depth by 2021.

Newsome extended the Port’s reach inland with the opening of two inland ports, located in Greer and Dillon, and launched the cruise business with Carnival Cruise Line. He continually supported S.C. economic development efforts by offering companies access to one of the most efficiently run ports in the country.

“Jim leads the organization with great vision, decisiveness and enthusiasm. One of his best assets is recognizing talent in his team members and entrusting them to lead alongside him to further strategic initiatives. Our Port has grown immensely under his leadership, leading to job creation and economic growth around the state.”

SCPA COO Barbara Melvin

Jim Newsome with Barbara Melvin and Lindsey Graham.

Newsome also championed a cultural initiative, culminating with the opening of SCPA’s new headquarters building in Mount Pleasant and being recognized among Best Places to Work in South Carolina.

Newsome now looks to the future with the same energy, tenacity and optimism as when he first took the helm in 2009.

“We were at a real crossroads when I joined SC Ports Authority in 2009, and I am immensely proud of where we are today,” Newsome said. “SC Ports is pursuing vital infrastructure projects and growing cargo volumes, all of which is made possible by our excellent workforce and maritime community. I know our best days are ahead.”

Newsome attributes the Port’s success to all those who make its operations possible — the SCPA team, senior managers and the entire maritime community, as well as the board of directors, local elected officials, SC Legislature and Congressional delegation.

“Even with all we have accomplished, we must strive to continue as the preferred port in the U.S.,” Newsome said. “I want us all to ask ourselves every day, ‘What is one thing you can do today to move the organization forward?’ Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 10 years.”

We’ve Come A Long Way

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