Container traffic at the Port of Charleston rose 2.4 percent year-over-year, pushing up year-end traffic up 1.2 percent as the South Carolina port prepares for a slowdown in traffic.
“We are continuing to experience a flat economic environment here in the U.S.,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. Analysts expect import traffic so be flat in January before rising in the spring, while export shipments, particularly those of agriculture products, are expected to grow through 2012.
Breakbulk traffic growth in 2011 at the ports of Charleston and Georgetown fared far better, with shipments up 54.9 percent compared to 2010, according to port statistics. Breakbulk traffic in December surged 21.5 percent year-over-year.
"Our sales team has made great strides to further diversify our business, including growing the non-container side,” said Newsome. "And we are continuing to be creative and aggressive to increase business opportunities in the Port of Georgetown.”