Recent record container volumes through the Port of Charleston aren’t enough to satisfy James I. “Jim” Newsome III, president and chief executive officer of the South Carolina Ports Authority, who has loftier longer-term objectives well in 20-20 sight.
“We had a good year, and obviously I’m happy about that,” Newsome said, referring to the all-time-high 2.14 million 20-foot-equivalent container units that moved through the port in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.
“But,” Newsome continued in a conversation with the American Journal of Transportation, “it’s a long-term business, so we need multiple good years to be successful. I think we’re on a sound footing right now. I think that we’ve accomplished a lot, and I think we’ve got a good future.”
Among happenings shaping a bright future for SCPA are major improvements making 35-year-old Wando Welch Terminal already able to efficiently accommodate mega-boxships; building of an all-new container terminal that is to handle its first cargo by 2020; deepening of Charleston’s harbor to 52 feet, also by 2020; and economic development extending beyond Port of Charleston gates, including at inland terminals.
On the favorable statistical front, it not only bears note that the container volume in the recently completed fiscal year was up 10 percent over the TEU count for the preceding 12-month period, but also that, according to figures supplied by SCPA, the Port of Charleston experienced the highest total containerized cargo volume growth rate from 2011 to 2016 among top 10 U.S. containerports – an impressive 45 percent…
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