Container Traffic at SC Ports Up 8% in April

May 16, 2012

CHARLESTON, SC – May 16, 2012 – Container volume in the Port ofCharleston rose nearly 8 percent last month over 2011 levels, in resultsannounced during the South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SCPA) Boardmeeting earlier today.
In April, the SCPA handled 123,439 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) inthe Port of Charleston, the strongest April seen at the port since 2008and a 7.7 percent increase from the same month last year. Containerizedtraffic in TEUs for the 10 months comprising the fiscal year to date(June through April) is up 2.7 percent from the same period last yearwhile container volume for the calendar year to date (January throughApril) increased 7.3 percent over 2011 levels.
SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome described that two new, weeklycontainer services connecting the Port of Charleston to markets in Asia,including the first direct Vietnam call for the port, will begin inJune.
The SCPA’s non-containerized cargo continued its upward trend, withbreakbulk tonnage in the Port of Charleston up 57 percent with for themonth of April and up nearly 24 percent in the fiscal year to date.
In the Port of Georgetown, pier tons were fairly flat in April comparedto the same month last year, but activity there has more than doubled inthe fiscal year to date.
Newsome also provided the Board an update on Charleston’s harbordeepening project, describing that he is extremely pleased with recentprogress.
This project has a high degree of recognition, he said. We are in atime when the urgency of improving ports and harbors is understood byall levels of leadership.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last month retained $3.55million in funding allocated to the deepening project’s feasibilitystudy through the Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2013, whichbegins in October.
In the state legislature, the South Carolina House of Representativeshas set aside $180 million in non-recurring funds for the harbordeepening construction as part of the state budget, currently underreview in the Senate. This allocation would cover the state’s 60 percentshare of the estimated $300 million cost for construction. Last month,the South Carolina Senate passed a bill authorizing the state to borrowup to $120 million to complete the project if federal funds are notavailable.

About the South Carolina Ports Authority

The South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s GeneralAssembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities inCharleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued atmore than $58 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayersubsidy.  An economic development engine for the state, port operationsfacilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion ineconomic activity each year.  For more information, visit