The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has announced October volumes up nearly 17% year on year, continuing a strong growth trend in container traffic “well above” the organisation’s financial plan.
SCPA handled 164,672 teu in October, up from 141,049 teu moved during the same month last year. For the fiscal year to date, container volumes are up 14% and nearly 13% ahead of plan.
As measured in pier containers, October volume increased 19% over the same month last year, with 94,470 boxes moved. Pier container volume or the fiscal year to date is 12% over plan and 15% higher than the same period last year.
“SCPA’s strong volume and earnings performance is broad-based and reflective of the growth in a number of market,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
He continued: “While we are pleased with the strong levels of growth, we expect this growth to moderate in the last two months of the year and into next year. We do believe that the South Atlantic port market will continue to outperform the U.S. port market due to strength in manufacturing along with overall regional growth.”
Total breakbulk cargo tonnage also continues to climb, with fiscal year-to-date volumes 20% ahead of plan. Last month Charleston handled 87,224 pier tonnes for an increase of 7% over fiscal year-to-date plans. Georgetown also contributed to strength in the business segment, with 62,591 pier tonnes handled in October for a 42% gain over planned fiscal year-to-date tonnage.
Newsome discussed the state-wide support for harbour deepening received during the public comment period for the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
“Upon completion, the project will give Charleston the deepest harbour on the U.S. East Coast,” he said.
In action items, the Board approved an offer from the Furman Company Investment Advisory Services, LLC to purchase the Port of Port Royal for $15.42m. Pending review and approval of the offer by the SC Budget and Control Board, the SCPA will issue a contract to the Furman Company and a formal inspection period will begin.