The COSCO Development calls at South Carolina Port Authority’s Port of Charleston. Photo: SCPA
South Carolina Ports Authority reported a record container volume of 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) during its 2018 fiscal year.
The new record represents an increase of three percent over the previous fiscal year, the Port Authority said.
Closing out its fiscal year, SCPA handled 201,163 TEUs in June, the single highest month for container volume in the Port’s history and a 10 percent increase over June 2017.
The port’s fiscal year runs from July to June.
As measured in pier containers, or the number of boxes that moved across the docks of SCPA’s two container terminals, the Port handled 115,696 containers in June and a total of 1.25 million containers in FY2018.
“June container volumes were exceptional, marking the first time our Port has handled more than 200,000 TEUs in a single month,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “We achieved the three highest months of container volume in the Port’s history in March, May and June. As compared to FY2010, SCPA has grown by over 900,000 TEUs for a compound annual growth rate of seven percent. Such growth is a significant accomplishment that reflects a broad expansion of the Port’s cargo base, the commitment of our staff and the overall success of our maritime community.”
In June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced the $49 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. The project, which is scheduled for completion in early 2021, will deepen the shipping channel leading to the South Carolina’s Port of Charleston to 52 feet from its current depth of 45 feet.
The added depth is seen as essential as more and more 14,000 TEU ships are calling on U.S. East Coast ports from the opening of the Expanded Panama Canal in 2016. The SCPA has said there’s a “strong likelihood” that an 18,000 TEU ship could even call at the port sometime in the near future.