South Carolina Ports handled the most cargo in its history in March, with the Port of Charleston handling record volumes as the new Hugh K. Leatherman terminal begins operations.
SC Ports reported an all-time container record in March, moving 248,796 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) through the Port of Charleston’s Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals, up 34% year-over-year.
The previous container record was set in August 2019, when the port handled 233,110 TEUs. Fiscal year to date, SC Ports has handled 1.86 million TEUs from July through March.
SC Ports handled 137,855 dock containers in March, representing a 31.3% increase year over year. SC Ports has handled nearly 1.036 million dock containers so far in FY2021.
“SC Ports moved more cargo than ever before in March. This significant achievement brings us to another historic milestone as we prepare to welcome the first ship to the Leatherman Terminal on Friday,” said SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome. The new Leatherman Terminal features five ship-to-shore cranes with a 169-foot lift height above the quay deck and 25 rubber-tired hybrid gantry cranes
“Our all-time container record reinforces that we are adding more capacity to the Port of Charleston at the right time. The state-of-the-art Leatherman terminal will add 700,000 TEUs of throughput capacity and a 1,400-foot berth to the East Coast port market when it is needed most,” Newsome said.
Loaded imports were up nearly 50% in March at the Port of Charleston. The Southeast’s booming population and pandemic-driven lifestyle changes continue to drive retail imports, including household goods, furniture, electronics, exercise equipment, and fresh produce and refrigerated foods, SC Ports said in a news release.
Loaded exports rose 8.2% in March, as advanced manufacturers and automotive companies see steady demand for their products in global markets. SC Ports also handled more than 22,000 vehicles at the Columbus Street terminal in March.
In addition to the Charleston seaport, SC Ports also owns and operates intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer.
Inland Port Greer, which is 212 miles inland by rail from Charleston, reported its busiest month ever with 16,688 rail movements in March, up 20.3% from last March. Year-to-date, Inland Port Greer has handled 119,460 rail movements, an increase of nearly 5% over the same period last year.
Inland Port Dillon reported nearly 3,000 rail movements in March. Year-to-date, Inland Port Dillon has handled 27,549 rail movements, up 12.4% from the same period last year.
“These impressive volumes underscore the efficiency of our operations and the strength of our entire maritime community, working as a team to keep the supply chain fluid during a global pandemic and amid unprecedented demand,” Newsome said. “We look forward to providing the same reliable service and additional capacity to our customers as we welcome vessels to the Leatherman Terminal.” SC Ports is proud to open South Carolina’s first U.S. container terminal since 2009.”