Port of Charleston reports February volume, strong spring outlook

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Source: Post and Courier

The number of containers passing through the Port of Charleston slipped slightly in February from 2017, but volume remained at a record pace for the fiscal year.

The State Ports Authority attributed the 3 percent decline partly to weather disruptions. Also, an unusual spike in business in February a year ago made it difficult to match last month, the agency's board was told at its meeting Wednesday in Charleston.

Container volume already is bouncing back in what's shaping up to be a "very busy" month, SPA chief Jim Newsome said.

"We believe we're on pace for a record March this year," he said. 

Newsome noted that the March-to-May stretch typically is the busiest time of the year for the Port of Charleston, as winter weather fades and factories in Europe resume full production after holiday shutdowns. 

"We have to play catch-up, but historically we have played catch-up in March, April and May," he said Wednesday.

Since July 1, when the maritime agency's 2018 fiscal year began, volume at the SPA's two main terminals in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston is up 1.5 percent to about 796,000 cargo boxes.

Measured a different way — in industry standard 20-foot increments — the number of containers crossing the docks at the port edged up 1 percent last month and to a record 1.4 million since July 1.

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