South Carolina Ports Authority reported its strongest May on record, with 204,457 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) handled last month.
Fiscal year-to-date TEU volume is up 9.7%, with 2,192,689 TEUs handled since the Port’s fiscal year began in July.
“Our volumes have been strong this fiscal year compared to fiscal 2018, particularly with SCPA’s container business, rail dray program and inland port operations,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “We plan to continue this momentum as we wrap up fiscal year 2019 at the end of June, securing our place as a top 10 container port in the U.S. I am immensely proud of our team for handling record-breaking volumes amid global trade uncertainty.”
As measured in pier containers, or boxes handled, SCPA moved a record 118,048 containers across the docks of the Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals in May, surpassing the previous May record of 113,531 pier containers in 2018.
Fiscal year-to-date, pier container volume is up 10.2% with 1,251,247 boxes handled from July through May.
Inland Port Greer handled its highest monthly container volume last month, with 15,563 rail moves. The facility has handled 128,515 rail moves since July, up 19.4% from the same time a year ago. Inland Port Dillon saw continued growth with 2,578 rail moves in May, for total fiscal year-to-date volume of 27,001 rail moves.
In non-containerized cargo, the Port’s breakbulk facilities in Charleston handled 64,461 pier tons in May, including 19,938 vehicles. The Port has handled 570,420 pier tons since the fiscal year began in July.
SCPA’s RapidRail dray program, which provides a seamless connection between the marine terminals and rail yards, has significantly grown. The Port now handles nearly 25% of its volume by intermodal container rail, with 31,709 rail moves in May.
The Port also recently took delivery of five rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes, which will further modernize operations and increase container yard capacity at Wando Welch Terminal. The Port has received 14 of the 24 new cranes ordered for the Wando terminal; the terminal currently has 52 RTGs overall.
“SCPA is on track to end fiscal year 2019 strong after achieving its busiest May in Port history,” SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern said. “The continued growth is a testament to SCPA employees and the maritime community. SCPA is well positioned to execute on its capital expenditures that will better prepare the Port of Charleston for the influx of cargo and bigger containerships in the coming years.”