August 21, 2023

Imports are up 12% in July at SC Ports

SC Ports keeps freight moving for the booming Southeast market. (Photo/SCPA/Walter Lagarenne)

CHARLESTON, SC — AUG. 21, 2023 — South Carolina Ports enters fiscal year 2024 showing signs of strength.

SC Ports handled 208,134 TEUs and 115,422 pier containers in July. Imports flowing into the Port of Charleston outperformed U.S. volumes with a 12% increase from June and a 3% increase year-over-year. Exports were up 9% from last year.

Total container volume was down about 4% year-over-year in July, driven by lower exports of empty containers.

“Although overall volumes continue to reflect the tempered U.S. economy, the Southeast is booming and the U.S. East Coast port market continues to attract new cargo,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “SC Ports is a powerhouse port on the East Coast with a reputation for providing reliable port service. We quickly work ships and efficiently move cargo for our customers.”

While manufacturing and retail remain down in the U.S., the Southeast market is thriving with an influx of new residents and industrial growth. Port-dependent companies are investing in manufacturing facilities, electric vehicle operations and retail distribution centers.

These investments are expected to drive SC Ports’ cargo growth at a higher rate than national trends. SC Ports has invested more than $2 billion into critical port infrastructure and is currently building a $400 million intermodal yard to provide near-port rail to the Port of Charleston.

SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports continue to yield strong volumes, handling a combined 17,724 rail moves in July, which is a 55% increase year-over-year. Inland Port Dillon continues to break records, reporting a record July with 2,919 rail moves. Inland Port Greer also had a strong month with 14,805 rail moves in July.

Ro-ro cargo remained steady year-over-year, with 20,866 vehicles rolling across the docks at the Port of Charleston.

About South Carolina Ports Authority

South Carolina Ports owns and operates marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon. As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports connects port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond to global markets. SC Ports proactively invests in infrastructure ahead of demand to provide reliable service, efficient operations, cargo capacity, an expansive rail network and the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is a vital economic engine for South Carolina, with port operations supporting 1 in 10 jobs statewide. Learn more: