Container traffic at the Port of Charleston increased more than 6 percent in November, according to results announced at today’s monthly SC Ports Authority (SCPA) Board meeting.
The Port handled 133,481 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, up from 125,780 TEUs moved during the same month last year. Exports have been strong throughout the year with increases of 12.5 percent container volume year over year and 7.6 percent fiscal year to date.
Shipments of agricultural products, particularly grain, were a significant driver of export gains. Agricultural exports alone have increased 16 percent since 2009, prompting SC Ports to add five transload operations in the last three years.
“Exports are driving our growth well above the industry average,” said Jim Newsome, SC Ports president and CEO, “and our deep harbor facilitates the handling of additional export cargo. I expect we will continue to see exports trending upward through the rest of the decade, ultimately balancing imports.”
SCPA breakbulk cargo segments also saw increases in November. Since the fiscal year began, the Port of Charleston has exported 191,862 breakbulk tons. Volume at Union Pier terminal is up 169 percent fiscal year to date, due in part to rising imports from Eastern Asia of pipe used to support various mechanical applications and wire for the manufacturing industry.
Cargo at Georgetown is up 21 percent fiscal year to date with 36,206 pier tons moved in November. The month’s gains are driven by domestic moves of bulk cement for the Northeastern construction industry as well as import shipments of petroleum coke and steel billet for local manufacturers.