Newsome announces new contract during State-of-the-Port event
Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean carrier, has signed a new, five-year agreement with the Port of Charleston, South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) President & CEO Jim Newsome announced during his first State-of-the-Port Address to the local maritime community.
Addressing members of the Propeller Club, Newsome reinforced that the SCSPA is committed to building volume in the ports of Charleston and Georgetown and to being more competitive in retaining existing customers and attracting new business to its facilities. The highlight of his speech was the announcement on the Maersk contract, which drew a standing ovation from the more than 550 attendees assembled at the Passenger Terminal.
‘Maersk Line is the largest line in the world, having 15 percent of the world’s market share,’ Newsome said. ‘I cannot imagine running a major port without having Maersk as a prominent customer. The good news is that we will not have to.’
The new contract runs through December 31, 2014 and is the culmination of several months of negotiations. Maersk noted in a statement the line’s long, successful relationship with the SCSPA. Maersk has had a presence in the Port of Charleston for more than 50 years.
During his address, Newsome stated that the Port of Charleston would more aggressively market its key advantages, including its deep water, globally recognized productivity and the dedication and hard work of the local maritime community.
‘Today we can handle two-way vessel traffic at up to 48 feet of draft with the tides,’ Newsome said. ‘This will today accommodate every ship that calls an East Coast port.’
Newsome also noted that the Panama Canal expansion in 2014 would bring additional vessels carrying up to 9,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to East Coast ports, giving Charleston a competitive advantage.
Newsome thanked the employees of the SCSPA and members of the local maritime community for their support during his first seven weeks on the job.
‘There is no port in the world with a more committed and talented group of industry professionals, and I am very thankful for that,’ he said. ‘The port business is a team, not an individual sport, and the success we will have will be ours collectively. The best years of this great port are ahead of us.’