October 9, 2019

SCPA sees strong cargo growth in September

Wando Welch Terminal works mega container ships with ease. The terminal will have 15 155-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes by 2020. (Photo/English Purcell/S.C. Ports Authority)

CHARLESTON, SC -- OCT. 9, 2019 -- South Carolina Ports Authority's momentum continues in early fiscal year 2020 with the best September on record for cargo volumes.

SCPA handled nearly 195,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) at the Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals in September, up 12.5% from a year ago. The Port has handled 638,600 TEUs in the first three months of fiscal year 2020, up 10% year-over-year.

As measured by the total number of boxes handled, SCPA moved 110,025 pier containers in September, up 11.7% from the same month last year.

"Our fiscal year 2020 is off to a very strong start as we continue to handle record cargo volumes at our terminals," SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said. "Our productivity is made possible by our incredibly talented team and the entire maritime community, all working together to keep freight moving."

SCPA's two inland ports, located in the Upstate and Pee Dee regions of South Carolina, continue to see strong growth year-over-year as manufacturers and retailers benefit from the inland operations and overnight rail connections to the Port of Charleston.

Inland Port Greer reported 12,473 rail moves in September, up 40% from a year ago. Inland Port Dillon, now in its second year of operation, reported 2,451 rail moves in September, up nearly 33% from last year.

SCPA also handled 22,124 vehicles at Columbus Street Terminal in September, a 30% increase from last year.

"We are excited to see growth across multiple business segments, as well as new customers moving into the market," Newsome said. "While we do anticipate a significant number of blank sailings by container carriers later this year, which will likely impact ship arrivals and cargo volumes, we remain focused on growing our business and investing in our infrastructure. In 2021, we will open the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston and achieve a depth of 52 feet in Charleston Harbor."

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion annual economic activity. SCPA is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet, and the Port is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com.