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April port volumes down as result of COVID-19

Staff Report //May 13, 2020//

April port volumes down as result of COVID-19

Staff Report //May 13, 2020//

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The S.C. Ports Authority saw a slight dip in container volumes last month because of COVID-19, but fiscal year-to-date volumes remain steady, according to data provided by the ports authority.

The port moved 176,152 TEUs — an industry measurement equivalent to a 20-foot container — at the Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals in April, a 13.9% decrease from April 2019. Measured by the total number of boxes, the port moved 100,810 pier containers, a 13.4% decrease from last year.

So far in this fiscal year, which began July 1, the port has moved 1.13 million pier containers and 2 million TEUs. That’s a .25% decrease in pier containers but .53% increase in TEUs from this point last fiscal year.

The S.C. Ports Authority handled 34,232 pier tons of breakbulk in April for a total of 575,893 pier tons this fiscal year, which is up 13.8% from this point last year. The Columbus Street Terminal saw 9,036 vehicles last month for a total of 183,131 vehicles this fiscal year, up 17% year-over-year.

The port’s two inland ports had a combined 9,994 rail moves last month, down 41.7% from April 2019. Inland Port Greer saw 7,408 rail moves while Inland Port Dillon, now entering its third year of service, saw 2,586 rail moves.

Fiscal year-to-date, the inland ports have seen 148,291 rail moves, a 7.6% increase over last year.

Ports authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said in a news release that he’s grateful for the maritime workers who have kept supply chains moving.

“As we face the challenges brought on by COVID-19, we continue to operate as we always have by offering excellent service and an unwavering spirit of collaboration,” he said. “Our S.C. Ports team is known for adaptability, creativity and teamwork, and this has been more evident now than ever.”