South Carolina Ports reported March pier container volumes were the highest since August 2008. Last month the Port handled 85,616 boxes, totaling 692,338 pier containers fiscal year to date.
“March is traditionally a seasonally strong month,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The SCPA saw an 11 percent year over year increase in pier container volumes for the month, with growth of both import and export cargo. We expect April to be a strong month as well.”
In March, the Port handled 150,516 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, a 10 percent increase over the same month last year. TEU volume is up 5.3 percent fiscal year over year, with 1.2 million TEUs handled since July 1. The Port continues to grow above the market average.
In the non-containerized cargo segment, Union Pier (UPT) has seen significant increases in breakbulk tonnage primarily used in the manufacturing and construction industries. The Port moved 9,654 tons at UPT last month for a total of 89,422 pier tons handled fiscal year to date.
“Union Pier recently had the opportunity to handle additional cargo in the breakbulk segment, and we expect strong growth of non-containerized cargo volumes in the last quarter of our fiscal year,” Newsome said.
Georgetown also saw gains in breakbulk tonnage, handling 22,757 tons in March and 395,371 tons fiscal year to date for an increase of 10 percent over the same period last year.
In action items, the Board authorized the purchase of 11 new container handlers to replace older models at Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals. The new models provide added capabilities to handle heavier cargo and stack containers higher than the handlers currently in use, allowing for further densification of container stacks.