The South Carolina Ports Authority reported 2014 fiscal year-end operating earnings of US$14.3m, 20.7% over the organisation’s financial plan.
From July through June, the SCPA posted operating revenues of US$164.1m, an increase of nearly 17% over the previous fiscal year. FY2014 expenses totaled $149.9 million.
“With the Port’s aggressive capital plan for the next several years, a solid financial performance is essential,” said SCPA board chairman Bill Stern. “The strong 2014 fiscal year revenues reported today reflect that the SCPA remains focused on the growth necessary for these important projects.”
Last month the SCPA announced 8% container growth for the fiscal year, handling 1.7m teu for an increase of 2% over plan. These results follow 9% increases the previous fiscal year and continue the SCPA’s growth trend of more than double the market average.
“The last quarter of the 2014 fiscal year was the strongest the SCPA has seen in seven years,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
The port authority’s rail drayage programme saw expanded participation by all major shipping lines in FY2014. Rail dray volume increased 136% over the previous fiscal year.
FY2014 was also marked by 17% growth of the refrigerated cargo segment. The Charleston area’s cold storage capacity is on the rise, with three cold storage companies recently announcing plans to construct or grow existing facilities to support expansion of this market.
Major initiatives for the SCPA this fiscal year include continued work on harbour deepening, with the draft Environmental Impact Statement scheduled to be released in the autumn; construction on the Wando Welch Terminal wharf refurbishment project to begin in April 2015; and efforts to restructure container contracts and refine capital planning.
Volumes for the first month of the new fiscal year were positive, with pier containers up nearly 14% over July 2013.
In teu terms, July volumes exceeded plan by 11%, with 153,916 container handled during the month. For the calendar year to date box volume reached 1,026,372 last month, up 11% from the same period last year.
July breakbulk cargo volumes also saw increases. Charleston moved 55,485 tonnes, an increase of 8% over last July, and monthly volumes were also up 19% in Georgetown, with 71,135 tonnes moved.