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Distribution & Logistics

Imports up 16% at SC Ports Authority

Distribution & Logistics
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Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal (Photo/SCPA, Walter Lagarenne)

The country’s continued clamor for retail goods has driven record cargo levels for the S.C. Ports Authority for the 13th consecutive month, with imports up 16% year-over-year in March. 

S.C. Ports handled 264,334 twenty-foot equivalent container units, or TEUs, at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in March, a 6% increase from last year. For fiscal year 2022, S.C. Ports has moved 2.14 million TEUs so far, up 15% from this time last year. 

“As we continue to handle record volumes on our terminals, SC Ports is working alongside our maritime community and logistics partners to navigate the many challenges felt across the entire supply chain,” S.C. Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “We are responding to customers’ needs as we make progress on reducing the backlog.” 

The ports said it is responding to the record volumes and ongoing supply chain challenges “in real-time,” with solutions like providing Sunday hours for motor carriers, selective term leasing of the port’s new chassis and strategic investments. The SCPA has hired more than 150 people in operations and invested more than $2 billion in infrastructure, the agency said.  

At this time, the HLT is still under-utilized pending resolution of the ongoing National Labor Relations Board case, the port said. 

“We will continue investing in strategic port infrastructure and deploying creative solutions to ensure fluidity for our customers,” Newsome said. “We are very grateful to our dedicated S.C. Ports team and the entire maritime and logistics community. Thank you to the men and women working so hard to keep freight moving for the Southeast supply chain.” 

For March, SCPA handled 145,415 pier containers, which accounts for containers of any size. The volume represents a 5% jump over last year. In total, the ports have moved 1.19 million pier containers from July through March, up 15% fiscal year-over-year.   

S.C. Ports Authority also handled 21,809 vehicles at Columbus Street Terminal and recorded a combined 17,413 rail moves at Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon in March. 

Cruise passengers hit the highest volume for the fiscal year with 18,409 individuals. Cruise operations restarted in late December after a two-year pause.  

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