SC Ports Logo

176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail:


SCDOT Offers 100,000-lb. Permit for Shipping Containers

For more information on the permit, please visit SCDOT’s oversize/overweight permit office online.

Press Release from the South Carolina Department of Transportation:

Pilot program to permit heavier containers expanded and made permanent, improving competitiveness, enhancing efficiency and benefiting South Carolina industries.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), working with the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), has announced all international shipping containers with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) up to 100,000 pounds are eligible for permitting for transporting by truck in South Carolina.  This new policy is effective on Monday, November 1, 2010.

The previous overweight permit allowed up to 90,000 pounds GVW for shipping containers. The new permit allowing the weight increase will improve the state’s competitiveness, enhance transportation efficiency and serve a number of key South Carolina industries.  The decision was based on the results of a pilot program launched earlier in 2010 that allowed refrigerated containers up to 100,000 pounds to be permitted and shipped by truck. The pilot program was undertaken because neighboring states offered a greater permitting capability.

Transportation Secretary H.B. Limehouse Jr. said this decision is important to the economy of South Carolina. “Part of our job at SCDOT is to support economic development. Our highways, ports and rail systems are the infrastructure for economic development.  We all work together to make South Carolina as competitive as we can in global markets,” said Limehouse.

SCSPA President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Newsome, reacting to the upgraded permitting decision said, “This is an extremely important development for our export cargo base, which has long been at a disadvantage. Secretary Limehouse and SCDOT have shown great leadership and foresight by improving our competitive capability in world markets,” said Newsome.

Business sectors benefiting from the new permit include those that export heavy products, such as forestry and agricultural industries. The expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014 will allow even larger cargo ships capable of carrying more than 8,000 containers to move goods from Asia to the Eastern seaboard of the United States. The upgraded container weight policy in South Carolina will put the Port of Charleston in a better position to compete for the significant increase in cargo moving through the Southeast.