Port of Charleston bests '08 container shipment record

Image by Flickr user Palmetto Max

The Port of Charleston posted its best quarter for container shipments since 2008, the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) reported at its regular monthly board meeting today.

Charleston container volume for July through September totaled 352,295 TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units), up 18 percent from the same period last year (299,531 TEUs), slightly above the previous quarter (351,923 TEUs) and ahead of plan by 5 percent.

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCSPA, noted that two new Asia shipping services began in Charleston earlier this year, and a number of specific cargo development initiatives are paying dividends.

“Charleston’s back on track and this growth is very encouraging,” said Newsome. “Refrigerated cargo and agricultural products have shown solid growth, and Charleston’s reach is expanding. More than 20,000 companies across the U.S. now rely on the Port of Charleston to access overseas markets.”

Several major industry expansions in the state will generate new port business in the coming months, including BMW’s newest X3 assembly line and TBC/Tire Kingdom’s new 1.1 million square foot distribution center near the port. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the state led the Southeast in job creation last year with more than 18,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Newsome said attention will continue to be placed on consumer spending, employment and capital investment here. “U.S. indicators are somewhat trailing the Asian economies, particularly China, which is posting considerably stronger growth, perhaps pointing to a de-coupling of these markets. We’re approaching the end of double-digit increases, but the longer-term outlook for this region and Charleston is very bright.”

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority: The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at nearly $45 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and $44.8 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit www.scspa.com.


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