South Carolina Ports Authority Generates $6.3 Billion Impact on Lowcountry Economy, $53 Billion Statewide
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) generates $6.3 billion in annual economic activity in the Lowcountry region and $53 billion statewide, according to the results of a recently-released study.
The Lowcountry region, home to the Port of Charleston, has the largest SCPA footprint within the state with five operational terminals and one container terminal under construction.
“The port is our state’s most strategic asset,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “It enables South Carolina to recruit and serve the needs of companies with international supply chains, and in doing so, spurs economic development opportunities and generates well-paying jobs for people across the state.”
The study identified the following impacts of port operations on seven Lowcountry counties. Approximately 11.9 percent of the total statewide economic impact attributed to SCPA benefits the Lowcountry. SCPA is responsible for nearly 23,000 jobs in the region. More than $1.2 billion in labor income from SCPA operations is infused into the Lowcountry economy annually.
“Here in the Lowcountry, the port is an important part of our history and will be a driving force in our economy well into the future,” said Newsome.
The study was completed by Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist in the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. The results represent the total economic impact associated with port operations and port users during the 2014 calendar year.
“Port expansion is vital to the continued growth of South Carolina’s economy in the coming years, and SCPA’s strategic priorities ensure that our port system is prepared for the future,” said Bill Stern, SCPA board chairman. “By the end of the decade we will achieve the deepest harbor on the east coast, open a new container terminal on the former Charleston Navy Base and modernize our existing facilities. We are well-positioned to achieve strong volume growth that will benefit not only our port, but the entire state.”
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