South Carolina Ports Authority received international recognition for the Port of Charleston’s performance and overall productivity.

The Journal of Commerce ranked the Port of Charleston No. 1 for overall productivity in the midsize ports category for North American ports. Wando Welch Terminal was named No. 1 for overall productivity in the midsize terminals category.

South Carolina Ports wins international awards for port performance
Caption: Wando Welch Terminal is a highly efficient, modern container terminal that keeps freight moving at the Port of Charleston - Photo/S.C. Ports Authority/English Purcell 

The awards were presented this week during JOC Events’ annual Port Performance North America Conference in Newark, N.J.

The JOC uses its global database of berth productivity at port terminals to analyze and compare port operations; the publication defines productivity by the average number of container moves per crane per hour, while a ship is at berth.

The first place rankings highlight S.C. Ports’ ability to efficiently move cargo boxes between container ships and terminals.

“Our investments in buying taller cranes, implementing new terminal technologies and hiring highly skilled equipment operators all lend to incredibly well-run port terminals and high productivity for our customers,” S.C. Ports COO Barbara Melvin said. “I would like to thank the broader maritime community as well as we do not achieve this type of productivity alone. It is a team effort.”

S.C. Ports’ Wando Welch Terminal recently underwent a three-year refurbishment effort to strengthen and densify the terminal, enabling it to handle both mega container ships and growing cargo volumes. By the end of 2020, Wando Welch Terminal will have 15 ship-to-shore cranes with 155 feet of lift height and 65 rubber-tired gantry cranes.

The Port is on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in Charleston Harbor in 2021, ensuring container ships can access Wando Welch Terminal at any time without tidal restrictions. The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project will also greatly benefit S.C. Ports’ new container terminal, the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal, which will open in 2021 and double port capacity at full build-out.

“These monumental infrastructure projects will continue to bring more cargo and business to the Southeast and the Port of Charleston,” SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “S.C. Ports offers reliable service and ensures the efficient movement of cargo, making it a very attractive port for customers wanting access to an East Coast port and the booming Southeast market.”