South Carolina ports had their best year on record in 2019 despite trade war headwinds.
The South Carolina Ports Authority announced this week that it handled 2.44 million TEU in 2019, representing a 5% increase in year-over-year.
“S.C. Ports handled 1.38 million pier containers in 2019 at it’s two busiest container terminals, Wando Welch and North Charleston. Of those, more than 1.1 million containers went across the docks of the Wando Welch Terminal, which handles the majority of port’s annual container volumes, where major renovations are underway to make the terminal more “big ship” capable.
Breakbulk cargo grew in 2019 with 725,828 pier tons handled, up nearly 10% from a year ago.
The Port also handled 225,191 vehicles, up 4%, and 262,776 cruise passengers, up 24%, in 2019.
S.C. Ports’ Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon also saw record breaking activity in 2019 with 190,539 combined rail moves, up 41% year-over-year.
“We enter 2020 with a great decade of growth behind us, during which we doubled our volumes, tripled our asset base and added more than 200 people to our team,” said S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome. “Our cargo growth and efficient terminals are only made possible through the dedication of our team and the broader maritime community.”
In December, S.C. Ports handled 187,882 TEUs at its container terminals, bringing the total TEUs handled so far in fiscal year 2020, from July through December, to 1.23 million, up nearly 4% year-over-year.
“Our ongoing growth supports our long-planned, vital infrastructure projects, which are close to becoming a reality. In 2021, S.C. Ports will open the first phase of the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal and achieve a 52-foot depth in Charleston Harbor,” Newsome said. “Our enhanced capacity and big-ship capabilities make the Port of Charleston ideal for cargo owners wanting access to both Southeast consumers and global markets.”