April pier container volumes set a 6-year record, marking the busiest month at the Port of Charleston since May 2008. The increase in pier containers pushed fiscal year 2014 volumes up by 5.5 percent year-over-year. April's pier container volume represented a 12.3 percent increase over April 2013 and a 21.7 percent increase over April 2012. Measured in 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs, the South Carolina Ports Authority handled 151,790 TEUs during April and 1,374,066 TEUs during fiscal year 2014 with two months remaining. "April reflected strong export growth at the Port of Charleston as we shipped 10.6 percent more containers overseas than the same month last year," said Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. "These growth figures stress the importance of our deepwater harbor as American manufacturers and exporters look for efficient, expedient ways to send their goods overseas." In action items, the board approved a $1.2 million contract for routine maintenance dredging at Union Pier Terminal and Columbus Street Terminal to accommodate break-bulk operations. The board also approved an $897,244 contract for engineering work associated with improvements being made at the Wando Welch Terminal. The board also approved a $195,000 sale of surplus land in Beaufort that was formerly used as part of a railroad corridor serving the Port of Port Royal, and the board voted for a contribution of up to $12 million to construct a building expansion for New Orleans Cold Storage to support a strategic initiative to boost cold storage and freezer space in the Charleston area. Lastly, the board agreed to sell a portion of the Coal Tipple Property of which 16 acres are high-ground for $3 million to facilitate an economic development project involving water-borne commerce. "Much is happening at the state and federal levels," said SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. "While we continue to see cargo growth in Charleston, our federal delegation gave its unified support for the Charleston Harbor deepening project and the Port of Georgetown by voting for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. We thank our U.S. House and Senate members for their support."