Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

S.C Ports October volumes reach within 1% of 2019 totals

Staff Report //November 18, 2020//

S.C Ports October volumes reach within 1% of 2019 totals

Staff Report //November 18, 2020//

Listen to this article

Ship-to-shore cranes arrived for the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal, preparing for the planned March opening of the terminal.(Photo/Walter Lagarenne, S.C. Ports Authority)S.C. Ports Authority had a busy October.

The ship-to-shore cranes arrived for the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal, and President and CEO Jim Newsome announced that the SCPA will diversify its cargo by shifting into retail. As well, monthly volumes continue to show ongoing recovery in containers, vehicles and at the inland ports.

For October, SCPA handled 216,916 TEUs, 20-foot equivalent container units, at the Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals, down less than 1% year-over-year, the ports said in a news release. In total, the ports has handled 797,108 TEUs since the start of the 2021 fiscal year in July.

“Our business continues to rebound with better-than-expected volumes in the container and vehicle segments, as well as with a record October at our inland ports,” Newsome said. “Our ongoing efforts to recruit more cargo to S.C. Ports will further drive growth.”

Fiscal year to date, the SCPA has moved 443,481 pier containers, which are cargo boxes of any size, with 119,986 moves in October. That same month, the ports handled 20,637 cars at the Columbus Street Terminal — a decrease of only 2% compared to October 2019. Vehicle volumes as a whole are up 18% compared to the previous year.

Inland ports at Greer and Dillon also remain strong with Inland Port Dillon reporting 3,469 rail moves, up nearly 40% from last year, and Inland Port Greer with 12,935, up 9.2%.

Michelin is using Inland Port Greer to move cargo for its upstate distribution center, while Walmart’s anticipated 3-million-square-foot distribution center in Dorechester County will play a part in SCPA’s diversification of its cargo base.

 “Retail companies are seeing explosive growth during the pandemic, and this boom presents a great opportunity for S.C. Ports,” Newsome said. “We are pros at handling high-demand supply chain needs for the automotive and advanced manufacturing industry, which will translate seamlessly into supporting retail distribution.”

As of Nov. 3, all five ship-to-shore cranes, the first of the port’s cargo-handling equipment for the Leatherman Terminal, have arrived in South Carolina and are being reconfigured at the new wharf.

“It is always one of our most exciting times to see major equipment infrastructure arrive in Charleston,” Newsome said. “These tall cranes will be a significant addition to the Charleston skyline and will serve as a reminder for all in the area of the importance of what we do.”