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Port of Charleston Completes Record Volumes in April


Port of Charleston Completes Record Volumes in April

Following the most successful all-time cargo record for March, South Carolina Ports Authority confirmed earlier this week the Port of Charleston broke the April record for cargo handled. More than 225,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were moved in April from Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, representing an upward growth trend of 27.8 percent in a year and 2.09 million TEUs in fiscal year 2021 so far.

“Companies needing to quickly import and export goods benefit from the available capacity at SC Ports,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “We have invested significantly in our infrastructure, including enhancing Wando Welch Terminal and opening Leatherman Terminal, to ensure Charleston can handle the biggest ships and growing cargo volumes coming to the East Coast.”

Vehicles, containers, and inland ports were among segments of business growth in April. Loaded imports accounted for a 27 percent increase for the month along with a 30 percent surge in loaded exports. Manufacturing and automotive industries in the region were cited as main drivers behind the increase.

April also saw a 143.1 percent increase in vehicles. SCPA reported 21,966 vehicles rolled the docks at the Columbus Street Terminal, representing the 209,598 vehicles handled so far for the fiscal year (a 14.5 percent increase).

“Our entire maritime and motor carrier community kept freight moving during the past year. We owe them much gratitude for keeping our shelves stocked and businesses running during the pandemic,” Newsome said. “As the global supply chain continues to feel strained, it is evident that SC Ports invested in the right infrastructure at the right time. We have the capacity, big-ship capabilities and deep harbor today to handle cargo influxes.”

SCPA’s Jim Newsome Recognized Among DC Velocity Logistics Rainmakers

South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SCPA) CEO Jim Newsome is known for accomplishing significant logistics and shipping milestones in his role the last nine years including transforming the Port of Charleston to become a top 10 U.S. container port, reaching record volumes in 2019, and overseeing the development of two South Carolina port operations. These are just a few of the successful efforts Newsome can credit for earning him the coveted  DC Velocity Logistics Rainmaker title,  one month before his tenth year with SCPA. He is among eight other U.S. -based logistics professionals aka “rainmakers.”

“Global businesses, both import and export businesses, want to locate near capable ports,” Newsome said in an interview with DC Velocity. “My vision of the Port is to be the preferred port among the top 10 U.S. container ports. We are doing this by providing required port infrastructure in time to handle both anticipated growth and the deployment of big container ships. We want to make sure our Port offers the highest possible reliability in terms of productivity and efficiency.”

Beyond overseeing operations, projects, and breaking records, Newsome’s focus on company culture and workforce development at SCPA was demonstrated earlier this year as the company earned a spot on the Best Places to Work in South Carolina list.

“I have had the good fortune to work for great enterprises that were experiencing significant challenges when I joined them — you might say ‘turnaround’ situations,” Newsome said in the DC Velocity interview. “Developing a committed team of people to successfully address those challenges is what I consider my greatest professional achievement and, along the way, playing the part in the professional development of many of those key people so they could fulfill their career aspirations.”

Newsome’s exemplary leadership to the 700-person team reiterates his knowledge and expertise in the industry and what it takes to create a successful, dynamic team boasting SCPA qualities from safety and security, to adaptability, decisiveness, and enthusiasm.

“Jim Newsome has overseen the most complete and thorough overhaul of an organization that I have ever seen,” University of Tennessee professor Ted Stank said in Newsome’s Rainmaker profile. “Key to this transformation has been Jim’s vision of ports as a critical value node in the integrated end-to-end supply chain.”
Stank has also referred to Newsome as a leader that “defines the term ‘rainmaker.'”

SCPA: Success & Growth for Fiscal Year 2019

.Fiscal year 2019 has proven successful for South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) as it set record volumes at the Port of Charleston while boasting the largest annual percentage of containerized volumes by intermodal container rail in port history, thanks to the The RapidRail program. The program ensures seamless connectivity between rail yards and maritime terminals and supported the 330,000 rail moves  reported for the port for FY19.

The Port reported an overall annual increase of pier containers handled by 9.1 percent following confirmation of June’s handled total of 112,988 containers. There were 2.4 million TEUs reported that were handled from June 2018 through July, confirming an 8.8% increase in annual TEU container volume.

“SCPA’s container business had a record-setting fiscal year and our inland ports in Greer and Dillon continue to see record growth year-over-year,” SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome said. “This accomplishment is the result of the entire South Carolina maritime community’s dedication to providing a great product to our customers.”

Inland ports also saw robust numbers, especially for Inland Port Greer which reported FY19 as its busiest year since launching operations in 2013. Inland Port Greer confirmed a total of 143,204 rail moves overall and a 22 percent growth rate from last year. Inland Port Dillon saw 29,580 rail moves during the first year of operating.

“The Southeast remains the best place to be in the port business with a growing population to support imports and a strong manufacturing and automotive presence to boost exports,” Newsome said. “While we expect more modest growth in fiscal 2020, we are optimistic about the future and continue to invest in our infrastructure.”

Source: South Carolina Ports Authority

Longshoremen Approve Port of Charleston Contract

Charleston, SC – Members of an International Longshoremen’s Association local that represents approximately 14,500 workers voted to approve a strike at Port of Charleston docks last week, but workers have not yet walked off the job, officials said.

The local labor contract is separate from the master contract ratified last year by the ILA and US Maritime Alliance.

Kenneth Riley, president of ILA Local 1422 said it is not unusual for a union to authorize a strike at this point in the process and there is not imminent threat of a strike, and that it has requested federal arbitration.

“The strike vote gives us the authorization if it comes to that,” he said. “We don’t anticipate that, and we are nowhere near that. The ILA remains optimistic and is hoping for similar outcome this time around. With that in mind, the ILA has invited the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to assist to break the stalemate.”

The longshoremen’s union has not taken action to halt cargo movement at the local marine terminals, according to Billy Adams Jr., executive director of the South Carolina Stevedore Association.

Adams said that ILA workers have threatened to walk off the docks in the past.

Riley said the ILA has been trying to negotiate with the South Carolina Stevedore Association for a new labor contract, noting its membership has rejected the employer’s “best and final offer.” The ILA is reportedly pushing for higher pensions and to perform work currently handled by state ports authority employees.

“Management was asked to give them their best and final offer,” Adams said. “We were still in negotiations when they asked for our best and final offer.”