As global trade continues to rebound, South Carolina Ports’ container volumes show strength with a record November.
SC Ports handled 207,066 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) at Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals in November, up 12% year-over-year. SC Ports has handled more than 1 million TEUs thus far in fiscal year 2021, which began July 1.
SC Ports moved 114,899 pier containers — which account for cargo boxes of any size — in November, up 10% from a year ago. SC Ports has handled 558,380 pier containers fiscal-year-to-date.
SC Ports’ strategic position in the quickly growing Southeast is advantageous for cargo owners, particularly global retailers. Consumer demand remains healthy, seen with loaded imports up nearly 13%.
“SC Ports had a truly remarkable month with a record November for containers handled, as well as impressive results in our vehicles and inland ports segments,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We also recently celebrated Walmart breaking ground on its near-port, 3-million-square-foot import distribution center in Ridgeville, S.C., which will boost port volumes by 5% once it is operational.”
Vehicles remain a strong segment for SC Ports with 20,838 vehicles handled at Columbus Street Terminal in November, up 4.5% year-over-year. SC Ports has handled 114,519 vehicles in fiscal year 2021, up more than 15% from the same time a year ago.
SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports had a strong November with a combined total of 14,324 rail moves. Inland Port Greer reported 11,247 rail moves in November, up 20% year-over-year, and Inland Port Dillon had a record November with 3,077 rail moves, up nearly 28% from last year.
“SC Ports is well-positioned to handle increasing cargo volumes brought on by both the ongoing recovery and the booming Southeast market,” Newsome said. “Our strategic infrastructure investments are coming online at the right time. We look forward to opening the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in March.”
The $1 billion Phase One of the Leatherman Terminal complements efforts to modernize Wando Welch Terminal and deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet. These investments will enable SC Ports to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously in 2021, as well as a 19,000-TEU vessel.