CHARLESTON, S.C. – South Carolina Ports reported the Port of Charleston handled 2.55 million twenty-foot-equivalent units in its 2021 fiscal year, a new record for containers at the facility.
That traffic at S.C. Ports’ Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal represented a 9.6% increase compared with fiscal 2020. S.C. Ports’ 2021 fiscal year ended June 30.
S.C. Ports moved 1.42 million pier containers, which measures containers of any size, in fiscal year 2021, up 7.7% from the prior fiscal year.
Vehicles remained a strong business segment, with 253,981 vehicles rolling across the docks of Columbus Street Terminal in fiscal year 2021, up 27% compared with the year prior.
S.C. Ports two rail-served inland ports set cargo records in fiscal year 2021, with a combined 192,844 rail moves recorded, up 11.7% from a year ago. Inland Port Greer moved 157,842 rail moves in fiscal year 2021, up 12.6%, while Inland Port Dillon had 35,002 rail moves, up nearly 7.9%.
S.C. Ports saw strength in containerized, vehicle and inland port business segments throughout fiscal year 2021, including achieving record monthly year-over-year container volumes for the past four consecutive months.
“While the global pandemic has placed great strain on global supply chains, it has also highlighted how incredibly vital maritime, motor carrier and logistics workers are to the supply chain,” S.C. Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said in a release. “They are keeping freight moving while handling unprecedented cargo increases. We owe them much gratitude for their hard work over the past year.”
In addition to a record fiscal year, S.C. Ports had a record June for its container business segment, with 231,758 TEUs moved during that month, which is up 48.1% compared with June 2020 and up 15.6% compared with June 2019.
The Port of Charleston handled 128,622 pier containers in June, a 44.5% increase from June 2020 and a 13.8% increase compared with June 2019.
In June, Inland Port Greer reported 13,383 rail moves and Inland Port Dillon recorded 2,593 rail moves.
S.C. Ports also had a milestone year for bringing infrastructure online and adding capacity to the U.S. East Coast port market at a time when it is most needed.
Phase One of Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal began operations in March, marking the first greenfield container terminal to open in the U.S. since 2009. Leatherman Terminal adds a 1,400-foot berth and 700,000 TEUs of capacity to the Port of Charleston.
SC Ports also kicked off an expansion at Inland Port Greer, further enhanced Wando Welch Terminal, and saw significant progress with the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, which will yield 52 feet of depth in 2022.
“We have been highly focused on delivering world-class infrastructure at the right time,” Newsome said. “We accomplished this in fiscal year 2021, most notably with the opening of Leatherman Terminal, which adds much needed capacity for customers.”
“We have planned our capacity well for the next decade and beyond with the infrastructure that we are delivering,” Newsome added. “In fiscal year 2022, we will continue to invest in our port to provide more capacity and reliability for our customers as we grow above the market.”
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