FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW CRANES - To handle growing volumes and to more effectively use existing terminals, last month the S.C. State Ports Authority announced it would purchase six new rubber-tired gantry cranes from Konecranes of Finland for a total of $8.04 million. The SPA has ordered 15 of the same units over the past two years to optimize utilization of current facilities.
SPACE UTILIZATION - The Port of Charleston is currently 50% more efficient than the typical U.S. port when it comes to effectively using its land. This measure takes the total number of container TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, and divides it by the total acreage available for container storage. The North American average for TEUs per acre is 2,455. In the first quarter, the SPA achieved a utilization rate equivalent to 3,678 TEUs per acre.
EXPORTS REBOUND - The Port of Charleston is earning a reputation as the nation's export launching pad. In the final quarter of 1999, Charleston led all U.S. ports in containerized exports to North Europe, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. Strong exports have continued into 2000. In March alone, loaded export container volume reached an all-time record high of 62,401 TEUs, up 18% from the same month last year. Charleston handled a record 1.48 million TEUs in 1999, up 16% from 1998.
ASIA & INDIA SERVICES - Two new services will soon begin operating from the Port of Charleston. A joint weekly service of COSCO, Yang Ming and "K" Line will call Columbus Street last port outbound to East Asia through the Panama Canal. The joint fortnightly service of Shipping Corp. of India, Contship and CMA-CGM will initially call North Charleston every two weeks to India, the Mediterranean and the Mideast.
MEET SHIPPERS - Where can you find dozens of shippers in one place? At the 2000 South Carolina International Trade Conference, May 17 - 19 in the Riviera Theatre at Charleston Place. Of the nearly 400 people already registered, 20% are manufacturers, importers and exporters. In addition great speakers, social events include a reception at the new S.C. Aquarium and a closing party at Boone Hall Plantation. For more information, call toll-free 877-347-3226 for registration details. All registrants are eligible to win a $5,000 Caribbean cruise.
WCSC POLL - An Internet "Pulse Poll" conducted recently by WCSC-TV revealed that the public favors port expansion by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Of 35,000 votes, 65 percent responded "Yes" to the question, "Do you support port expansion on Daniel Island?"
BUSIEST HIRING MONTH - April was the Ports Authority's busiest hiring month ever, with 16 new employees in addition to the 14 new-hires in March. To fill other openings and address personnel needs, recruiting efforts have been bolstered.
NEW PORT POLICE CHIEF - Lindy Rinaldi was recently named Chief of the Port Police Department to replace Eddie Ott, who is retiring after 20 years of service with the SPA.