July 12, 2022

SC Ports achieves record fiscal year, applies creative solutions

CHARLESTON, SC — JULY 12, 2022 — South Carolina Ports achieved a record fiscal year 2022 while maintaining fluidity for customers and the Southeast supply chain.

“Through well-planned, targeted investment, South Carolina Ports has positioned itself as a top driver of South Carolina’s economy,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “Our investments into critical port infrastructure have attracted world-class companies to South Carolina and helped our existing businesses thrive.”

SC Ports handled 2.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Leatherman Terminal in fiscal year 2022. For pier containers, which account for boxes of any size, SC Ports moved 1.58 million containers in fiscal year 2022.

SC Ports saw a 12% uptick in cargo this fiscal year, with more than 164,000 additional containers moving through the Port of Charleston than the year prior. Sustained consumer demand drove this growth. Imports were up 22% year-over-year.

“In partnership with our great maritime community and logistics partners, South Carolina Ports has achieved yet another record year,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “Together, we have navigated ongoing supply chain challenges and implemented creative solutions to keep freight moving.”

In an effort to keep imports and exports flowing through the supply chain, SC Ports has extended Sunday gate hours through at least September, given berth priority to vessels taking out more cargo, improved rail dray dwell times, leased more than 1,000 chassis out of its SMART Pool chassis fleet and hired 150 people in operations.

“We are using every avenue possible to add more fluidity to the supply chain for our customers,” Melvin said. “Our decision to invest in infrastructure ahead of demand is proving crucial in today’s environment.”

SC Ports has invested more than $2 billion into port infrastructure in recent years to handle record cargo volumes.

The modernized Wando Welch Terminal will soon boast 15 ship-to-shore cranes with 155 feet of lift height. The new Leatherman Terminal adds a much-needed berth to the East Coast port market.

SC Ports is now developing the future Navy Base Intermodal Facility, a rail-served, near-dock cargo facility designed to efficiently move goods to and from the Port of Charleston via rail.

The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project is also on track for completion this fall, making Charleston the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.

Notable quotes:

“SC Ports is a tremendous asset for the state. SC Ports’ role of moving cargo between South Carolina and global markets leads to job creation and industry recruitment. We are proud of the growth SC Ports brings to South Carolina. We look forward to future successes.” — SC Ports Board Chairman Bill Stern

“Many of our industries rely on SC Ports to move their products to global markets. Our commitment to deepen our harbor and build vital port infrastructure ensures South Carolina remains globally competitive.” — Senator Larry Grooms, chairman of the S.C. Senate Transportation Committee and the Review and Oversight Commission on the South Carolina State Ports Authority

“South Carolina is one of the few states in the nation with a top 10 U.S. container port. Our continued investment in strategic infrastructure brings prosperity and jobs to our state. The development of a near-dock rail facility and barge system is crucial to supporting the efficient flow of goods throughout our state.” — Senator Nikki Setzler

“Having a successful port ensures our port-dependent businesses grow. With the support of our SC Legislature, SC Ports is planning to build the Navy Base Intermodal Facility to bring near-dock rail to the Port of Charleston. Our companies will undoubtedly benefit from this well-planned, critical infrastructure project.” — S.C. Representative Bill Sandifer, vice chairman of the Review and Oversight Commission on the South Carolina State Ports Authority