CHARLESTON, SC – April 17, 2012 – Container volume in the Port of Charleston rose 12 percent in March, the strongest month for containerized traffic at the port since October 2008.
Inresults announced at today’s regular Board meeting, theSouth Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) handled 134,85720-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the Port ofCharleston in March, up 12 percent from the same monthlast year and up 13 percent from February.
Wecontinue to work hard to grow our cargo volumes abovethe market and attract new shipping services to ourports, said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA.
Forthe fiscal year to date (July through March), TEU volumewas up just over two percent, while container volume forthe quarter (January through March) increased sevenpercent from the same quarter last year. A number ofdrivers, including a new Europe service with APL, weresaid to be factors in this growth.
Thereis no turning back on the big ship trend, and we’reseeing how harbor depth and access can influencecarriers’ service decisions, Newsome said, referring toCharleston’s deep shipping channels and post-45 harbordeepening project, which is currentlyunderway.
Atthe same time, the SCPA’s non-containerized cargofigures remain strong, reflecting the agency’s cargodiversification strategy. The Port of Charleston handled111,236 pier tons of non-containerized freight in March,up 53 percent from the same month last year.
BMWexport vehicles and other roll-on/roll-off cargo handledat Charleston’s Columbus Street Terminal saw their bestmonth since March 2008. The SCPA completed last year a$23-million improvement project at that terminal tosupport the growth of non-containerizedcargo.
Inthe Port of Georgetown, pier tons were up 37 percent,with 34,119 tons handled across the docks last month.Petroleum coke and bulk cement are the largestcommodities handled at theport.
About the South Carolina PortsAuthority
The South Carolina Ports Authority,established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942,owns and operates public seaport facilities inCharleston and Georgetown, handling internationalcommerce valued at more than $58 billion annually whilereceiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economicdevelopment engine for the state, port operationsfacilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly$45 billion in economic activity each year. Formore information, visit http://www.scspa.com.