SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome receives Order of the Palmetto

June 22, 2022

Governor Henry McMaster honored South Carolina Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome with the Order of the Palmetto.

The Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian honor in South Carolina. The award recognizes one’s lifetime achievements and significant contributions made to the state.

“With Jim Newsome at the helm of South Carolina Ports since 2009, our world-class port has grown significantly, attracting new business and jobs to South Carolina,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “The Order of the Palmetto not only recognizes Jim for his impressive achievements and the success of South Carolina Ports, but also honors Jim for everything he has done in service of the people of our great state.”

Under Jim’s leadership, SC Ports has significantly enhanced port operations and grown its cargo base, attracting global companies to move goods through the Port of Charleston. SC Ports’ handles imports and exports for companies throughout South Carolina and beyond.

In recent years, SC Ports has invested more than $2 billion into vital infrastructure projects to accommodate the bigger ships and record cargo volumes seen today. These strategic investments — such as creating two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon and opening the country’s newest container terminal, the Leatherman Terminal — help to ensure supply chain fluidity and global competitiveness for South Carolina.

Port investments spur economic development throughout the state. SC Ports generates a $63.4 billion statewide economic impact each year and creates 1 in 10 jobs in South Carolina.

The Order of the Palmetto honors these significant contributions to the state, as well Newsome’s commitment to service by serving many nonprofits and mentoring supply chain students.

Following 13 years as CEO of SC Ports, Newsome will step down June 30. SC Ports COO Barbara Melvin will assume the role of president and CEO on July 1. Melvin will be the sixth leader in the history of the port and the first woman to lead a top 10 U.S. operating container port.


About South Carolina Ports Authority

South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Please visit to learn more about SC Ports.