South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) President and CEO, Jim Newsome, said that the container business had been growing well above the market in recent months.
\”In 2012, North American container port volumes were up two per cent overall, while Charleston grew 10 per cent. We will continue to focus hard on growing our cargo base; this includes discretionary cargo, such as agricultural products that can be trans-loaded to containers at or near the port,\” he said.
Charleston believes that several ocean carriers are planning service changes that could benefit the port by adding calls or by deploying larger ships. \”This is the time of year when carriers look at realigning services or upsizing their vessels on existing services. Any line that has big ships will deploy them anywhere they can,\” suggested Newsome.
\”We should begin to see some impact from new or upsized services later this spring,” he hinted.
The SCPA\’s non-containerised business showed similar strength during January; the ports of Charleston and Georgetown handled 173,306 tonnes in break-bulks. In the fiscal year to date, non-containerised cargo is tracking 30% ahead of the same period last year, at one million tonnes more the first seven months.
\”The non-containerised cargo segment is a growth market for us. It is essential for a port to diversify its business and break-bulk is a big part of that,\” said Newsome.