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SC Ports' February Container Volume up 9%, Breakbulk Up 118%

CHARLESTON, SC – March 20, 2012 – Containervolume in the Port of Charleston rose 9.2 percent inFebruary compared to the same month last year, inresults announced at the regular meeting of theSouth Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) Board ofDirectors.

Charleston handled 119,052 20-footequivalent units (TEUs) last month, representing a 5.8percent climb in container volume over the month ofJanuary, largely on the strength of loaded exports.

We are experiencing a very balancedtrade between import and export containers, which is acredit to the companies in South Carolina and across theSoutheast that are competing well in the globalmarketplace, said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of theSCPA.

Additionally, Charleston was one ofonly two of the nation’s top 10 container ports thatexperienced a rise in inbound cargo in February,according to trade intelligence company ZepolCorporation.

Volume for the fiscal year to date(July 2011 through February 2012) remained relativelyflat, with a 0.9 percent increase over the same periodlast fiscal year.

At the same time, the SCPA’snon-container business segment in Charleston andGeorgetown showed double and triple-digit gains.

Breakbulk volume in Charleston, whichtotaled 62,680 tons, rose 41.9 percent last month overFebruary 2011 while pier tons in the Port of Georgetownincreased nearly fourfold to 74,083 pier tons. Totalbreakbulk volume last month at the two ports was morethan double the volume handled February of lastyear.

With increased demand in the SCPA’snon-container business, the SCPA Board authorized theagency to proceed with contract negotiations withCharleston Heavy Lift on the construction of a new,barge-mounted heavy lift crane. The new crane would beused exclusively in the Port of Charleston in handlingoversized and overweight project cargo across the docks,and the SCPA would contribute up to $2.5 million to theproject for dedicated access over the life of thecrane.

The SCPA completed approximately $23million in upgrades to Columbus Street Terminal tohandle its non-container business, including vehiclessuch as BMWs made in South Carolina and heavy projectcargo requiring on-dock rail.

Additionally, the Board approved a$525,000 contract for maintenance berth dredging atVeterans Terminal, a 110-acre non-container facility atthe Port of Charleston located on the former Navy Basesite.

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.