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SC Ports’ capacity benefits retailers during record October

Leatherman Terminal

SC Ports' Leatherman Terminal adds capacity to the supply chain.

South Carolina Ports had a record October for containers handled as measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), marking the eighth consecutive month of record volumes at the Port of Charleston.

SC Ports moved 234,923 TEUs at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in October, a 9 percent increase year-over-year. Fiscal-year-to-date, SC Ports has handled 919,440 TEUs at container terminals, up 15 percent from the same time a year ago.

SC Ports handled 130,417 pier containers, which account for boxes of any size, in October. This set a record for the month and reflects a nearly 9 percent increase year-over-year. SC Ports has moved 511,790 pier containers thus far in fiscal year 2022, up 15 percent from the same time a year ago.

SC Ports handled 107,773 TEUs of loaded imports in October, up 12 percent year-over-year.

Retail imports continue to drive sustained cargo growth as consumers buy more retail goods, home goods and furniture. Furniture imports are up 55 percent year-over-year at the Port of Charleston, according to PIERS.

Retailers benefit from SC Ports’ cargo capacity, efficient operations, fast truck turn times and express rail service that swiftly moves retail goods to near-port distribution centers.

“SC Ports provides capacity, fluidity and predictability for retailers as record retail imports flow into the Port of Charleston,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “SC Ports has invested more than $2 billion in port infrastructure in recent years to ensure supply chain fluidity for our customers.”

The Port of Charleston consistently has berth availability, meaning ships do not wait to access terminals. This fluidity, combined with a deep harbor and efficient operations, attracts new calls and business to the Port of Charleston.

Wan Hai Lines announced plans to begin calling on Charleston as part of its network expansion between Asia and the East Coast of North America. The revamped AA7 service will provide better transit time and service coverage to meet customers’ rising demand, the line said in a news release.

“During this time of unprecedented supply chain challenges, shipping lines and cargo owners can take advantage of the opportunity to diversify their port gateways,” Newsome said.

Shippers needing to move goods to and from the hinterland also benefit from SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports. Inland Port Greer had a record month with 14,189 rail moves in October, which is up 10 percent from the year prior. Inland Port Dillon reported 2,435 rail moves in October.

Vehicles remain a strong business segment at SC Ports, with 21,740 vehicles rolling across the docks in October, a 5 percent increase year-over-year.

SC Ports also celebrated the arrival this month of two ship-to-shore cranes to Wando Welch Terminal, completing its fleet of 15 new ship-to-shore cranes with 155 feet of lift height above the wharf deck. These modern, tall cranes enable SC Ports to efficiently load and unload containers from mega container ships.

“Our new fleet of 15 impressive ship-to-shore cranes enables SC Ports to handle three 14,000-TEU container ships at one time at Wando Welch Terminal,” Newsome said. “Combined with the additional berth at the new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, SC Ports can now seamlessly handle four 14,000-TEU container ships simultaneously.”

South Carolina Ports Authority owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. Visit www.scspa.com to learn more about SC Ports.

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