The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), which operates the Port of Charleston and other facilities, today reported 6.4 percent year-over-year container volume growth, with a record 2.3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) handled in 2018.
The figure marked the third consecutive calendar year of record TEU volume for SCPA. The Port moved 199,701 TEUs in December alone, a 9.2 percent increase over December 2017 and the strongest December in its history, port officials said.
"January is already off to a strong start, and despite uncertainty in the trade industry we are optimistic that volumes will remain strong as we work to achieve our plans for 4.4 percent growth in fiscal 2019," SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said in a release.
In addition to its strong volume, SCPA also continued a number of expansion projects, including the opening of a second inland location, Inland Port Dillon, and the completion of an effort to strengthen and modernize the Wando Welch Terminal wharf for handling new cranes and bigger ships.
Future plans include a 2021 opening for phase one of the construction of the Leatherman Terminal, which will offer important growth capacity for the port's container business, SCPA says. Also in 2021 the port expects significant completion of dredging work on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project.