South Carolina Ports is making bold investments in freight infrastructure to support port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond.
In the past few months, work has either wrapped or commenced on several of SC Ports’ long-planned infrastructure projects. Smart infrastructure investments bring greater efficiency and capacity to port operations for a more fluid supply chain.
SC Ports’ multiyear effort to modernize Wando Welch Terminal culminated in August with taller cranes, a stronger wharf and an enhanced container yard — all designed to handle the biggest container ships calling the East Coast.
Also in August, SC Ports launched its new SMART Pool, which will add 13,000 chassis into the Southeast port market. SC Ports’ new fleet will improve the availability, reliability and quality of chassis for motor carriers, ocean carriers and cargo owners.
SC Ports broke ground on the Navy Base Intermodal Facility in October, thanks to a $400 million investment from the state. This critical infrastructure project will bring near-dock rail to the Port of Charleston and speed goods to market when it opens in 2025.
The expansion of Inland Port Greer hit a big milestone in November with the completed rail expansion. The next phase of construction will double cargo capacity of the container yard, helping to move more goods for manufacturers, automakers, retailers and solar companies.
And earlier this month, SC Ports and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District celebrated the successful completion of the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. This 12-year, $580 million project created the deepest harbor on the East Coast.
Charleston Harbor is now 52 feet deep, giving South Carolina a significant competitive advantage. SC Ports seamlessly handles fully loaded mega container ships any time, any tide.
“SC Ports has been able to invest in capacity ahead of demand, which is critical to remaining competitive as a top 10 U.S. container port,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “These strategic investments are possible because of the strong support we receive from our elected leaders and Board of Directors. We are setting South Carolina up for continued success.”
SC Ports serves as a critical partner to companies that rely on importing goods to stock shelves, build homes, make products or run hospitals. SC Ports also supports businesses, such as soybean farmers and global automakers, that need to send their products to overseas markets.
In November, SC Ports handled 213,073 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 117,662 pier containers at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Leatherman Terminal.
Fiscal year-to-date, SC Ports has handled nearly 1.14 million TEUs and 627,784 pier containers at the Port of Charleston.
Containers flowing through the Port of Charleston are filled with retail goods, home goods, electronics, clothing, furniture, refrigerated foods, medical supplies, paper and wood products, and manufacturing parts.
SC Ports also had 11,142 vehicles roll across the docks of Columbus Street Terminal in November. SC Ports supports South Carolina’s automakers by importing parts and materials and exporting finished vehicles to global markets.
In November, Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon reported a combined 12,989 rail moves, which account for every time a container is moved on or off a train. SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports extend the Port of Charleston’s reach into the state, enabling more goods to quickly flow to and from the port via rail.
Inland Port Dillon had a particularly strong month with 2,858 rail moves in November. Volumes were boosted by retail imports and agricultural exports.
SC Ports also had 25,754 cruise passengers come through the Passenger Terminal last month.
“Our talented SC Ports team and world-class maritime community work together on the waterfront every day to provide reliable, efficient service to our customers,” Melvin said. “We look forward to continued partnership and growth in 2023.”