South Carolina Ports Authority reported nine percent container
volume growth in 2017 with a record-setting 2.2 million twenty-foot
equivalent container units handled during the year.
In calendar year-end results presented to the SCPA Board,
the Port's total container volume in 2017 surpassed the previous record
of 2 million TEUs achieved in 2016. The Port moved 182,884 TEUs last
month, an increase of 11.2 percent over December 2016 and the highest
December in SCPA history.
"Global container trade growth
was the strongest it has been since 2010, mirroring surprising strength
in the global economy," said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. "We
expect to see continued strength, albeit slightly more modest, into 2018
with growth in the emerging market economies as a key factor in
sustaining this positive outlook."
As measured by the
total number of boxes handled, SCPA moved 103,756 pier containers in
December and a total of 1.2 million pier containers in 2017.
Port Greer handled 7,646 rail moves in December, pushing the facility's
volumes to a new calendar year record of 124,817 total rail moves in
2017. Greer experienced 20.4 percent growth over its 2016 volume record
of 103,639 rail moves.
In non-containerized cargo, SCPA's
Charleston breakbulk facilities handled 75,316 pier tons in December and
a total of 783,363 tons during the year. Nearly 235,000 finished
vehicles moved across the dock of the Columbus Street Terminal in 2017.
addition to record-breaking volumes, 2017 was a year marked by
significant advancement of key SCPA projects. Construction of the
Leatherman Terminal continued, representing major growth capacity for
the Port's container business when Phase One opens in 2020. During the
year, SCPA celebrated the groundbreaking of Inland Port Dillon, which
will open in April, and a new headquarters building, scheduled to open
in December. The Port also made strong progress on the final phase of
the Wando Terminal Wharf Strengthening Project, which will be completed
this spring in conjunction with the delivery of two new 155'
The Charleston Harbor Deepening
Project to 52 feet achieved several milestones in 2017, having been
named one of six "new starts" and receiving $17.5 million in
construction funding in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fiscal
Year 17 Work Plan. The USACE awarded the first two construction
contracts of $47 million and $213 million to deepen the Entrance Channel
in preparation for dredging to begin next month. With significant
completion expected by the end of 2020, Charleston will offer a wide and
deep harbor, enabling SCPA to handle the biggest ships calling the East
Coast and support growth of commerce in the state and region well into