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  June 25th, 2017 | Written by

SCPA: Six Percent Container Growth, $262.3 Million in Capital Expenditures in FY2018

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  • SCPA plan projects pier containers of 1.263 million during FY2018, a six percent increase from this year.
  • Rail moves at Inland Port Greer, SC, is expected to increase 20 percent next fiscal year.
  • SCPA's planned operating revenues for FY2018 reflect a 9.4 percent increase above the current fiscal year.

The South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors adopted a 2018 fiscal year financial plan that includes six percent pier container growth, $251.1 million operating revenues, $44.1 million operating earnings, and capital expenditures of $262.3 million.

The plan projects pier containers, or box volume, of 1.263 million during FY2018, a six percent increase from the 1.19 million boxes SCPA is expected to handle this fiscal year. Strong growth at Inland Port Greer is also planned, with rail moves expected to increase 20 percent over FY2017 projected totals.

Planned operating revenues for FY2018 reflect a 9.4 percent increase above the current fiscal year, which are expected to reach $229.4 million when the period ends June 30.

“The port’s fiscal year 2018 financial plan reflects continued success of our state port system, both in volume growth and progress of key capital projects,” said SCPA Board Chair Pamela Lackey. “This fiscal year will be an extremely significant period for the port, marking the beginning of harbor deepening construction, completion of the Wando Terminal wharf project, and continued construction of the Leatherman Terminal. We are well-positioned to build upon South Carolina’s economic development successes and remain competitive in the evolving landscape of the U.S. port industry.”

The board approved a $262.3 million capital plan, the largest in the SCPA’s history, with expenditures projected $14.3 million higher than FY2017. SCPA will invest $54 million in site development, construction and equipment, and related expenses for construction of the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, a new container terminal slated to open in 2020. Other primary capital expenditures planned include $86.3 million in upgrades to the Wando Welch Terminal, including the completion of the wharf modernization project; $32.2 million for the construction of Inland Port Dillon, opening during the spring of 2018; and $23.3 million for the construction of the new SCPA corporate office.

“SCPA is handling larger volumes than ever before, and our plans for the new fiscal year enable our existing facilities to handle big ships,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “This is the largest capital expenditure plan in our history, encompassing a number of projects that collectively will enhance the service of our port.”

SCPA’s TEU volume is up 9.4 percent fiscal year to date with 1.96 million TEUs moving across the docks in Charleston since July. The port handled 182,452 TEUs last month, marking the strongest May in port history.

As measured in pier containers, or total boxes, SCPA moved 103,462 containers in May. The port has handled 1.1 million pier containers fiscal year to date.

In the non-containerized cargo business segment, the Port of Charleston handled 64,761 pier tons last month. Charleston’s breakbulk volume is slightly ahead of planned levels, with 755,497 tons moved fiscal year to date.

May was a record month at Inland Port Greer, with 47 percent growth in rail lifts over May 2016. The facility handled 12,702 rail moves in May, bringing fiscal year to date rail volume to 108,701 rail lifts.