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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Charleston Fiscal Year Container Volume Highest in Five Years

Board Approves Additional Investment in Greer Inland Port

Charleston, SC - The Port of Charleston is having its strongest fiscal year for container volume in five years, according to results announced today at the regular meeting of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) Board of Directors.

During the first nine months of the fiscal year which began July 1, the SCPA’s box volume was up 10 percent over the same period last year, with 1,160,999 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled at the SCPA’s two container terminals in Charleston through March 2013.

“We are pleased that our actions to increase volume are bearing fruit,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA. Newsome noted that the upcoming fourth quarter of the fiscal year traditionally has been a period of strong numbers. “There are a number of deployments of large vessels which should further influence volume, especially on the export side.”

The Port of Charleston handled 136,877 TEUs in March, a 1.5 percent increase over the same month last year and a 13.8 percent increase over March 2011.

Bulk and breakbulk tonnage similarly posted positive year-over-year results during the first nine months of the fiscal year. The SCPA’s non-containerized facilities in Charleston and Georgetown handled 1,205,194 pier tons of cargo from July to March, a 14.5 percent gain from the same period in fiscal year 2012.

In other action, the SCPA Board approved $12.9 million in additional funding toward the South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) in Greer, SC, currently under construction. The project’s design is now more than 90 percent complete with a projected opening in September 2013.

“What we have is a much more robust facility than initially planned,” Newsome said. “We have designed and will construct the inland port to bring optimum benefit to our customers and a greater return on investment over the longer term.”

Located 212 miles from the Port of Charleston, the SCIP will serve as the extension of the SCPA’s coastal facilities in the middle of the largest concentration of in-state port customers in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Importantly, the facility immediately will convert 25,000 existing truck trips on I-26 to rail transportation. The SCIP will have an expected capacity of 40,000 containers at start up and, with the newly approved funding, will grow its capability to around 80,000 lifts a year.

The Board also approved the transfer of 2.24-acres of property to Clemson University for the wind turbine testing center under construction in North Charleston on the former Navy Base. The property will be used to house an electrical power station for the Clemson University Restoration Institute wind turbine project.

About the South Carolina Ports Authority:
The South Carolina 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 $63 billion annually while 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.  For more information, visit