FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXPANSION ALTERNATIVES TO BE STUDIED - The Ports Authority Board today unanimously approved a resolution directing management to review options for port expansion. These sites would include the Cooper River side of Daniel Island, the former Charleston Naval Base and a site in Jasper County. The Board said it, "fully supports the efforts of the Authority to expand the Port in order to meet the demonstrated needs of not only its users, but most importantly, the needs of our state." The Board requested that a preliminary report on the technical, engineering, environmental, cost, time and infrastructure factors of the various alternatives be presented at the next meeting.
BOX VOLUME UP 11% - Container volume through the Port of Charleston soared 11% in the first two months of fiscal year 2001. Total pier TEUs increased to 280,520 in July and August, up from 251,660 in the same period last year. Container traffic in fiscal year 2000 (ended June 30) was up 16% from the previous accounting period.
COLUMBUS STREET IMPROVEMENTS - The SPA Board approved two projects covering work at the Columbus Street Terminal. To improve the container yard, Banks Construction will pave eight-acres behind berth one over three months for $674,000. Marinex will perform maintenance dredging at the berth, delivering the material to Drum Island at a cost of $426,000.
CRANE RELOCATIONS - To make way for four new super-post-panamax container cranes, three Canron container cranes at the Wando Welch Terminal will be relocated to other terminals. NorSar Services of Everett, Washington will perform the $1.4 million contract to move two of the cranes to North Charleston Terminal and one to the Columbus Street Terminal.
E&Y GIVES CLEAN OPINION - The Ports Authority's external auditors, Ernst & Young, reported "an unqualified, clean opinion." There were no adjustments to management's numbers and no material weaknesses in internal controls.
NEW EQUIPMENT ARRIVALS - The first two Paceco/HHI super-post-panamax container cranes will be operational at the Wando Welch by the third week of October. The final two units are expected to arrive in late October. Two new RTGs will be operational by the end of the month, and four more in late November. The first of five new seven-high empty handlers has been delivered, three are expected next week and the final unit by the end of October.
CRANE REPAIRS - The SPA Board today approved a contract for Konecranes of Houston to perform $2.8 million in repairs to two existing post-panamax cranes, one at the Wando Welch Terminal and one at the North Charleston Terminal.
HMM TRANSATLANTIC - In addition to its agreement with MSC in the transatlantic, Hyundai is in the cooperative agreement with Maersk-Sealand, APL and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines in the U.S.- Europe trade through Charleston. CMA CGM also announced that it will enter the service.
NEW WORLD ALLIANCE TO START APX ATLANTIC SERVICE – New World Alliance carriers APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines will start their "Atlantic Pacific Express" transatlantic service in mid-October. It will be an extension of the New World Alliance's Asia/U.S. East Coast all-water service from Asia via the Panama Canal and continuing across the Atlantic. The APX service will call Rotterdam and Felixstowe. The first transatlantic eastbound sailing of the service will be from Charleston on Oct. 14.