On Wednesday, South Carolina Ports Authority reported the strongest February container volume in its history and nearly 12 percent fiscal year-over-year growth.
SCPA moved 178,131 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) during the month of February, with 1.6 million TEUs handled since the fiscal year began in July.
As measured by the total number of boxes handled, SCPA moved 100,794 pier containers last month for a total of 896,039 containers fiscal year to date.
“A strong February contributed to the Port’s continued growth, with container volume nearly six percent ahead of our financial plan for the first eight months of our fiscal year,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “We anticipate volumes from March to May will be below plan due to the impact of trade uncertainty and a significant number of blanked sailings, but we ultimately expect to achieve our FY2019 plan of 1.3 million pier containers.”
Inland Port Greer handled 11,245 rail moves in February, bringing the facility’s fiscal year-to-date volume to 84,761 moves. Inland Port Dillon saw 2,688 rail moves in February and has handled 18,709 rail moves in FY2019.
In non-containerized cargo, SCPA's Charleston breakbulk facilities handled 68,246 pier tons in February for a total of 383,448 tons since the fiscal year began.
Charleston Harbor Deepening Included in President’s Budget
The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project to 52 feet received a $138 million allocation in the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget announced last week. The project is now eligible to receive direct appropriations from Congress through the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.
Construction on the Entrance Channel to 54 feet began in February 2018, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to award the next dredging contract for deepening the Lower Harbor to 52 feet this fall.
“Receiving a significant allocation for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project in the President’s Budget was great news for our port and state,” Newsome said. “The depth advantage of 52 feet will add much-needed capability in the Southeast, the fastest growing region in the country. This project has been a collaborative effort from its inception, reflecting the hard work of many supporters who are committed to delivering a deepwater harbor at record speed.”