South Carolina ports handled 176,152 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in April, down about 5% compared to the 185,631 TEUs officials reported in March and down nearly 14% compared to the 204,621 TEUs reported for April 2019. Officials cited increases in some segments, however, and said that fiscal year-to-date volume remained steady despite the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Overall, fiscal-year-to-date volumes remained steady compared to the same period in fiscal year 2019,” the South Carolina Ports Authority reported today. “However, April volumes were down year-over-year due to the temporary closure of automotive plants and the global disruption of supply chains as many stores and businesses halted operations in response to Covid-19.”
Officials said the ports handled roughly 14% more pier tons of breakbulk thus far in fiscal 2020, and that rail moves at its two inland ports have increased 8% thus far year-over-year.
“As we face the challenges brought on by Covid-19, we continue to operate as we always have by offering excellent service and an unwavering spirit of collaboration,” S.C. Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said in a statement announcing the April results. “Our S.C. Ports team is known for adaptability, creativity, and teamwork, and this has been more evident now than ever. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the essential maritime workers who work so hard every day to ensure vital goods are delivered to communities and businesses.”
South Carolina also reached a milestone in April, working three of the largest vessels ever to call on the Port of Charleston: the 13,200-TEU OOCL Chongqing, the 14,000-TEU Monaco Bridge, and the 14,000-TEU APL Sentosa.