Charleston Container Throughput Jumps 18 Percent

Charleston Container Throughput Jumps 18 Percent

The container volume handled by the Port of Charleston in the quarter ended Sept. 30 surged 18 percent above the same quarter last year, making it the best quarter for container shipments since 2008.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority said Charleston’s container volume for the three months from July through September totaled 352,295 20-foot equivalent container units, compared to 299,531 TEUs in the same quarter last year and slightly above the previous quarter (351,923 TEUs) and ahead of plan by 5 percent.

“Charleston’s back on track, and this growth is very encouraging,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCSPA. “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.”

By The Numbers: Containerized Ocean Trade - Georgia & South Carolina Ports.

The SCSPA said 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.”

-- Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.