FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC – Three new South American shipping services have begun calling the Port of Charleston, solidifying the port's preeminence in the expanding South American trade lane and increasing business for local port-related companies and transportation service providers. The new services will bring 140 vessel calls to the port.
Charleston currently ranks third in the nation in containerized trade with South America. “There is opportunity for rapid growth in these markets and Charleston is in a stronger position to capitalize on the rebound,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., South Carolina State Ports Authority President & CEO.
In mid-February, Chilean ocean carrier CSAV (Compañia Sud Americana de Vapores), the largest carrier in Latin America, began a new direct service between northern Europe, Charleston and the west coast of South America. Charleston is the service's only U.S. call. The ships have an average capacity of 1,650 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and will call Charleston every 10 days. The service, called the EuroAndes service, offers direct calls at Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Tilbury, United Kingdom and Charleston, and several calls on the west coast of South America including Rio Grande, San Vicente, San Antonio, Buenaventura, Callao, Paita, Cartagena, Caucedo, Kingston, San Thomas and Puerto Cortez.
London-based P&O Nedlloyd and French carrier CMA CGM have added a joint service connecting the east coast of the United States with the east coast of South America. This service, which begins in April, will call Charleston on a weekly, fixed-day basis with ship capacity averaging 2,500 TEUs. Charleston is the first port inbound from Brazil, providing a shorter transit time to customers trading with this market. This service, called the Americas Bridge Express or Abex, will call the South American ports of Paranagua, São Francisco do Sul, Santos, Sepetiba and Suape.
The third South American service, offered by Maersk Sealand, began March 7. This weekly, fixed-day service will connect the U.S. to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Most of the South American economies have been plagued with instability in recent years but are poised for recovery. In 15 years, Charleston's South American business has grown eight-fold.
In 1991, Charleston handled just over 18,000 loaded TEUs of South American cargo, or 4% of the port's total volume for that year. In 2004, the volume South American cargo through Charleston ports had increased to more than 150,000 loaded TEUs, or 12% of Charleston's total volume. Ten percent of the nation's containerized trade with South America now moves through Charleston.
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Port Royal, handling international commerce valued at $39 billion annually.