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September container volumes break terminal records

Staff Report //October 12, 2020//

September container volumes break terminal records

Staff Report //October 12, 2020//

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The CMA CGM Brazil carried some of the thousands of containers that moved through the Port of Charleston's terminals in September. (Photo/Kim McManus)

September’s container volumes at the Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals broke records.

Showing further signs of recovery in containers, vehicles and inland port moves, the S.C. Ports Authority had the strongest year-over-year activity since the pandemic with 195,101 20-foot equivalent containers at the terminals last month — a slight increase over 2019.

To date, SCPA has handled 580,912 TEUs in the first quarter of the fiscal year.

“September volumes outperformed expectations as we see an uptick in cargo flowing through our marine terminals and inland ports. We will continue to operate well-run terminals, as we have throughout the pandemic,” SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We remain highly focused on capturing more retail goods and e-commerce cargo, such as with Walmart’s new 3 million-square-foot distribution center in Dorchester County.”

Cargo increased by 27% year over year at Inland Port Dillon, which handled 3,108 rail moves in September, and by 4% in Inland Port Greer, with 12,994.

Volumes at Columbus Street Terminal were down 2% in September, with 21,702 vehicles handled, but were up 25% overall this fiscal year at 73,044 handled since July.

Pier containers, which measures boxes of any size, were also down 2% year over year with the SCPA handling 107,816 boxes for a fiscal year total of 323,495.

Adding to its record-breaking month, SCPA welcomed the CMA CGM Brazil to the Port of Charleston on Sept. 20. The 15,072-TEU containership was the largest ever to visit the East Coast.

“The ability to seamlessly handle the CMA CGM Brazil highlights S.C. Ports’ deep harbor and modern capabilities,” Newsome said. “We have pursued an amazing amount of infrastructure in a short period of time. In 2021, we will have the deepest harbor on the East Coast, and we will celebrate the opening of Phase I of the Leatherman Terminal.”