- THE MAGAZINE
South Carolina Ports continues to see growth in the container market with a nearly 5 percent increase in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled fiscal year to date.
The port has moved 1,071,760 TEUs since the beginning of the fiscal year in July 2013, up from 1,024,421 TEUs handled during the same period last year, according to February 2014 financial results presented at the SCPA's regular Board meeting. Container volume remains on plan for the fiscal year, which runs July through June. Calendar year to date, TEU volume is up 2.5 percent.
Georgetown remains ahead of planned volumes for the fiscal year and handled 12.4 percent in additional tonnage compared to last fiscal year to date. In February, the Port of Georgetown moved 27,697 pier tons of breakbulk cargo for use in the manufacturing and construction industries.
In action items, the board modified plans for the design and construction of two super-post-Panamax cranes. Originally approved for North Charleston Terminal (NCT), the design of the new cranes will be adjusted for use at Wando Welch Terminal (WWT). The ship-to-shore cranes are being manufactured by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, LTD to meet the needs of larger container ships calling the Port of Charleston. The purchase allows three existing cranes in the WWT fleet to be moved to NCT, ensuring both terminals have the high speed and structurally robust cranes needed to load and discharge containers from larger vessels and accommodate heavy export container volumes from the Southeast's manufacturing industry.
"Given the trends of the maritime industry, particularly the deployment of big ships through the mega-alliances, ports must modernize to remain competitive," said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. "The SCPA's continued efforts to reinvest in our existing terminals ensure we are ready and capable to handle industry needs with appropriate equipment and technology.
The board also announced recent discussions with the Town of Port Royal regarding the potential sale of the port facility.
"The SCPA has put forth a proposal to the Town of Port Royal regarding the sale of the port property," said SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. "While specific contract details have not yet been determined, we look forward to continuing dialogue with the town and are optimistic that we can reach an agreement to benefit the citizens of Port Royal as well as the SCPA as required by law."