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Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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MSC Adds New Suez Service in Charleston

Charleston, SC - MSC has added a new weekly Asia service through the Suez Canal to Charleston, the deepest seaport in the Southeast.

Beginning in February, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world's second-largest container carrier, will begin calling Charleston on its Golden Gate Service (GGS). The service between the U.S. East Coast and Asia currently deploys 12 post-Panamax vessels with capacity of 6,050 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

“Charleston's deep, wide channels and excellent productivity make it a natural fit for this service,” said Allen Clifford, executive vice president of MSC (USA). “MSC and our customers have enjoyed exponential growth in Charleston and we will continue to grow together.”

“South Carolina welcomes and embraces this new business from MSC, one of the world's leading global shipping lines,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA). “MSC's decision to locate this service in Charleston speaks volumes about our ability to handle larger ships effectively and efficiently.”

Charleston has the deepest channels on the South Atlantic coast, routinely handling post-Panamax ships and vessels drawing up to 47 feet of water.

The Golden Gate Service will call Charleston's Wando Welch Terminal on a weekly basis. The first vessel will be the MSC Turchia, which embarks from Shanghai on January 15, 2010.

The Golden Gate Service offers connections to Shanghai, Ningbo, Chiwan and Yantian, China; Singapore; Salalah, Oman; Freeport, Bahamas; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore; Chiwan and Hong Kong, China.

The new service also marks an expansion of the line's already strong presence in the port and local community. MSC has five existing weekly carrier services calling in Charleston to the west Mediterranean, South America, Caribbean, Africa and Europe.

Earlier this year, MSC and the SCSPA signed a new five-year extension to the carrier's contract, lengthening its commitment in Charleston to 2017. In March, MSC dedicated its new, 45,000-square-foot South Atlantic corporate headquarters in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The company directly employs approximately 225 professionals in Charleston.

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.