Port of Charleston handles record cargo in May, on track for annual mark
The State Ports Authority, with a month to go in its fiscal year, has moved more containerized cargo at the Port of Charleston than it did all of last year, and it expects to set an annual record by the time it closes the books. “The port is on pace to achieve record volume of nearly 2.1 million (cargo containers) when our current fiscal year ends on June 30,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the maritime agency. Newsome called it “a tremendous achievement resulting from successful efforts to expand our cargo base, and it is a testament to our dedicated workforce and maritime community’s ability to seamlessly handle the biggest cargo ships ever to call our port.”
The Port of Charleston in May set its third consecutive monthly record for cargo moved across its container terminals, at 182,452 shipping containers. That beat the previous mark of 181,809 set in May 2015. The port has reported a 9.4 percent year-over-year increase in containerized cargo since July.
The May figures got a boost from the Mother’s Day visit of the COSCO Development, at the time the largest container ship to call at the port with a capacity of about 13,100 cargo boxes. The OOCL France, which visited the port June 3, has since claimed that title. It can carry 13,926 containers.
The SPA’s inland port in Greer also saw record cargo volumes last month, with 47 percent growth over May 2016. With a month left to go in the fiscal year, the inland port has handled a record 108,701 cargo boxes. Served by Norfolk Southern, the Greer cargo yard links the Upstate with the Charleston waterfront by rail.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based AECOM said Friday it has been chosen to provide detailed design services for the SPA’s new Leatherman Terminal under construction on the former Navy base in North Charleston. The £11 million contract calls for permitting and engineering design, including: grading; pavement; roadways; wharf structures; storm drainage; electrical and communications infrastructure; gate structures; and security, operations and maintenance facilities. The £762 million Leatherman Terminal will be able to handle up to 1.4 million containers annually when it is fully completed.
The first phase of the 280-acre project is scheduled to open in 2020.