FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC – The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) has closed its most successful fiscal year ever, posting record container volume, breakbulk tonnage, revenues and earnings.
The Port of Charleston set a new container volume mark in the fiscal year ended June 30 by handling 1,978,806 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up just slightly from last year's total of 1,970,875 TEUs. Total SCSPA breakbulk and bulk tonnage for Charleston, Georgetown and Port Royal also increased, rising to two million tons.
Operating revenues totaled $154 million, up 11.6% from last year, while operating earnings rose to $53.3 million. The SCSPA is not subsidized, so this financial strength is vital to realizing the necessary investment in port facilities.
“The Port of Charleston and South Carolina's ports have never been busier,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the SCSPA. “Looking ahead, we're encouraged by the arrival of new equipment, new services and our June results. We're ready for 8% growth this year and for larger ships.”
June container volume was exceptionally strong, rising 9% from the same month last year and pointing to increased volume in the months ahead. Three new ocean carrier services have located in Charleston over the past month.
To handle the growth, Charleston has more than $60 million in new container handling equipment and improvements en route. The first of 16 new rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) are being assembled at the Wando Welch Terminal and will be delivered later this month. All 16 will be operational by the end of the year, boosting container capacity and productivity.
In another highlight, this spring the former bridges spanning the main shipping channel were removed. With the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, this opens Charleston Harbor to larger vessels under any tidal condition. It provides 186 feet of vertical clearance at mean high water as well as wider clearance between the towers and 45 feet of water in the channel all the way to the docks.