Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal

Hapag-Lloyd's Yorktown Express becomes the first ship to call at the new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston, South Carolina, April 9, 2021. Photo: SC Ports Walter Lagarenne

Port of Charleston Sets New All-Time Cargo Record in November

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1109
December 7, 2021

South Carolina Ports, which includes the Port of Charleston, has come out with its monthly cargo numbers for November, showing the port set a new all-time record for containers handled by the port in a single month.

SC Ports moved 250,711 TEUs at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in November, a 21% increase year-over-year. This brings its fiscal year-to-date number to 1.17 million TEUs since July 1, up nearly 17% from the same time a year ago.

November marks ninth consecutive month of year-over-year monthly record cargo volumes as unprecedented retail imports continue to flow into the Port of Charleston. Volumes also surpassed the previous monthly container record, which was set in March.

SC Ports is the first major port in the United States to report November cargo volumes.

“The sustained, robust demand for consumer goods continues to drive record-breaking cargo volumes and retail imports at the Port of Charleston,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “While the global supply chain remains strained from handling unprecedented amounts of cargo, SC Ports brings fluidity to the supply chain. We invested strategically in port infrastructure to provide much-needed capacity, and we consistently deploy creative, responsive solutions to meet shippers’ needs.”

SC Ports handled 138,573 pier containers in November, up nearly 21% year-over-year. Fiscal-year-to-date, SC Ports has moved 650,363 pier containers, up 16% from the same time a year ago.

Loaded imports hit an all-time monthly record as well, with 127,081 loaded import TEUs handled in November, up 36% year-over-year. Meanwhile, loaded exports are now on the rise, with 67,639 loaded export TEUs moved in November, up nearly 5% from last year.

“With record throughput volumes, we are experiencing higher than normal on-terminal inventories, especially with empty containers,” Newsome said. “We are working with our ocean carrier partners to ramp up evacuations of empties to ensure we maintain terminal fluidity.”

SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports — Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon — also saw a busy November with 16,629 combined rail moves reported. Inland Port Greer had a particularly strong month with 14,384 rail moves, up 28% year-over-year. SC Ports handled 14,823 vehicles last month at Columbus Street Terminal.

“Our excellent maritime community, motor carrier partners and SC Ports team continue to keep freight moving through the supply chain, supporting companies throughout the Southeast and beyond,” Newsome said.

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