SC Ports Authority Reports Record Container Volume through February
The South Carolina Ports Authority has reported a fiscal year-to-date container volume record of over 1.4 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) handled since July.
SCPA moved 168,480 TEUs during the month of February, which drove a fiscal year-over-year container volume increase of 1.07 percent.
“Our container volumes are on track leading into spring, which is generally a strong season for the port,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “It is an exciting and busy time for the port, having just received two new neo-Panamax cranes and celebrated the beginning of construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. We look forward to the next milestone, the opening of Inland Port Dillon, next month.”
As measured by the total number of boxes handled, SCPA moved 95,280 pier containers last month for a total of 795,951 containers fiscal year to date.
Inland Port Greer also achieved a fiscal year-to-date record, handling 10,440 rail moves in February. The facility’s fiscal year-to-date volumes are nearly 5 percent higher than last year, with 76,748 rail moves handled since July.
In non-containerized cargo, SCPA’s Charleston breakbulk facilities handled 67,173 pier tons in February for a total of 476,219 tons since the fiscal year began. Over 22,000 finished vehicles crossed the docks in February, an increase of 1 percent over the same month last year, and 140,275 vehicles have been handled by SCPA fiscal year to date.
At a ceremony held earlier in March, officials celebrated the beginning of construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project to 52 feet.
“It is a monumental accomplishment to begin construction on the Charleston Deepening Project, which make Charleston the deepest port on the East Coast at a time when deep and wide shipping channels are necessary,” Newsome said. “The container shipping industry today is dominated by big ships, and ports must adapt to handle them in order to remain competitive. Our project will be completed just ten years from its initial conception in 2010, enabling Charleston to serve the fastest growing region in the country with the ability to handle ships fully-loaded with heavy export goods.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District awarded the first two construction contracts last fall, which together provide for the deepening of the more than 20 miles long Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel to 54 feet. Including the dredging of the upper and lower harbors to 52 feet, the project is expected to achieve significant completion by 2020.
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