FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world's second-largest container carrier, have signed a new agreement for business in the Port of Charleston through 2017.
The extended agreement solidifies MSC's place as one of the port's largest customers and supports hundreds of high-paying jobs across the Charleston maritime community.
“The South Carolina State Ports Authority is focused on bringing new business and jobs to the state,” said David Posek, chairman of the SCSPA. “This agreement does both.”
Late last week, MSC and the SCSPA signed a new five-year extension to the carrier's contract, lengthening its commitment in Charleston to 2017.
“This signals MSC's confidence in Charleston's ability to handle their needs now and well into the future,” said Fred Stribling, the SCSPA's vice president of marketing and sales. “We enjoy a strong, productive relationship with MSC, and we anticipate a growing MSC presence in the Port of Charleston.”
Charleston, with the deepest water on the South Atlantic coast, routinely handles MSC vessels with design drafts of up to 47 feet and capacity for 6,700 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The first phase of a new, 280-acre container terminal is slated to open in 2014.
Stribling highlighted the port's navigational and operational advantages in light of the extended agreement and expansion of the Panama Canal that is underway. “The Port of Charleston offers a world-class maritime community, deep water, unrivaled productivity and excellent inland access to a growing cargo base. That translates to cost-effective, high-value service for Charleston's customers.”
Over the past decade, MSC has exploded onto the Charleston shipping scene. The company's existing presence in the port includes services to the west Mediterranean, South America, Caribbean, Africa and Europe. MSC's Charleston business totals well over 200 vessel calls annually, which support hundreds of local jobs for those working on the waterfront, including truckers, brokers, longshoremen and others.
In March, MSC dedicated its new, 45,000-square-foot South Atlantic headquarters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The company directly employs about 225 professionals in Charleston, with the potential to grow that figure in the future.
About Mediterranean Shipping Company
Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., of Geneva, Switzerland was founded in 1970 and is a privately owned shipping line. It has rapidly grown from a small conventional ship operator to a leading global shipping line through organic growth rather than through acquisition or merger. MSC has 390 dedicated local offices in 146 countries and a worldwide staff of more than 30,000 professionals.
About the South Carolina State Ports Authority
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.