South Carolina Ports Projects 7 Percent Container Growth
Following a record-setting month of container volumes achieved in May, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) Board of Directors looks ahead to a favorable 2016 fiscal year, with the adoption of a financial plan that includes continued cargo growth, increased operating revenues and significant capital investments.
The plan projects pier container volume of 1.15 million boxes during 2016, a 7.2 percent increase over projected totals for the current fiscal year. Strong growth at the Inland Port is also planned, with rail moves expected to increase 6.9 percent over the 2015 fiscal year projected totals.
Operating revenues in the new fiscal year are planned to increase 9.2 percent, or $17.7 million higher than 2015 projected revenues.
“This plan builds upon year-over-year success of our port system,” says SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. “The 2016 fiscal year will be a significant time for our port and state, marked by the receipt of the Chief’s Report this September for our 52-foot harbor deepening project as well as the continued progress of Navy Base Terminal construction and other significant improvements to our existing terminals.”
The Board approves capital expenditures of $165.6 million for the fiscal year. The SCPA will invest $73.3 million over the next 12 months in the ongoing construction of the new container terminal on the former Navy Base, which will open in late 2019. Other primary capital expenditures include existing terminal infrastructure improvements, new equipment as well as two new super post-Panamax cranes, and a wharf strengthening project and upgrades for refrigerated cargo at the Wando Welch Terminal.
CARGO VOLUME RESULTS
The SCPA handled 104,003 boxes in May alone, setting an all-time high for the number of containers handled during one month and pushing fiscal year to date box volume past 2014 fiscal year totals.
As measured in twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, SCPA has handled 1.7 million TEUs fiscal year to date for a 13.7 percent gain over the same period last year. The port handled 181,809 TEUs last month, an increase of 12.5 percent over May 2014 volumes.
COMMUNITY GIVING GRANT PROGRAM
The application period for the port’s non-profit grant program, Community Giving, opened this month with opportunities for charitable organizations to apply for $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 awards. Grants are available in four outreach areas: maritime commerce, economic development, environmental awareness and community outreach.
Community Giving was created in 2013 to support programs and initiatives that better the communities where the port operates.