The South Carolina Ports Authority handled 144,649 20-foot-equivalent units in August, an increase of 5.6 percent year-over-year and the highest monthly volume since October 2008.
The gain helped drive a 4.5 percent increase in container volume since the beginning of fiscal year 2014 in July. For the past two months, the Port of Charleston moved 280,808 TEUs, compared with 268,806 TEUs during the same period last year. The port also exported more containers in July and August versus the same two months in fiscal year 2013, posting exports of 146,497 TEUs, up 6.7 percent year-over-year.
“We are working on a lot of projects and need to continually be in front of our customers,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, in a written statement. “Our cargo volumes should continue to be influenced by big ship deployments and increased cooperation by ocean carriers in mega-alliances.”
The port authority’s board also reelected its officers at its September meeting, including Bill Stern as chairman, John Hassell as vice chairman, Michael Sisk as treasurer and Willie Jeffries as secretary. Stern has served as chairman since November 2009.
Vice President Joe Biden visited the ports of Charleston and Savannah this week, saying the ports’ harbors need to be deepened to accommodate post-Panamax ships.
“Since the last four and half years, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say there’s not been 10 days and two weeks that’s gone by we haven’t heard about the need to invest in infrastructure down here, particularly in the port,” Biden said while in Charleston.
The Charleston Harbor Post-45 project is now in the study phase, and the Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District has completed collecting data. The district is now analyzing that data and expects to provide a Chief's Report by September 2015. The report will recommend a depth to dredge the harbor and will be presented to Congress.