October Volumes Up at Port of Charleston

November 19, 2008

CHARLESTON, SC – November 18, 2008 – Container volume at the Port of Charleston increased 6% in October, despite broader economic challenges.

In October, the Port of Charleston’s three container facilities handled 146,878 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), an increase of nearly 6% from the same month last year and a gain of more than 16% from the previous month.

“Given the volume trends both here and across the country, it’s somewhat of a pleasant surprise,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA), following Tuesday’s Board meeting.  “We certainly wish this were a trend, but based on what our customers are telling us, it’s more likely an aberration.”

Loaded import container volume was up 4% from the same month last year and up 17% from the previous month.  Loaded exports declined slightly, dropping 1% from October 2007 and falling 3% from the previous month.

Breakbulk tons also rallied in October, with 114,359 tons of cargo moved at the SCSPA’s facilities in Charleston and Georgetown. This represents a 47% gain over the same month in 2007.