SC Ports continue to rebound from global pandemic; high volume reported in August

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Ports Authority reported its second-highest month ever for imports to the Port of Charleston in August.

In a news release Monday, the SC Port said it say some positive cargo trends last month, which they said shows a slow but emerging recovery during the coronavirus pandemic.

The port handled 208,837 container unites at the Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals in August, which is down about 10% year-over-year.

Compared to recent months, the SC Ports said volumes are trending positively, with shipments up 18% since July and up 33% since June.

SC Ports moved 116,248 pier containers, which measures boxes of any size, in August. This is down 12% year-over-year, but up 17% from July and up 31% from June.

“Our August volumes surpassed expectations, reflecting the best year-over-year month since the pandemic began impacting global supply chains in March,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We are encouraged by a steady rebound in containers, vehicles and inland port rail moves.”

SC Ports handled 26,214 vehicles at Columbus Street Terminal in August, a 38% increase from a year ago, according to the release. Port officials said vehicle volumes are up 42% fiscal-year-to-date, with 51,342 vehicles handled in July and August.

The Port handled 73,811 pier tons in August, up 25% year-over-year.

August also marked the second highest month ever for imports to the Port of Charleston.

 “Our imports are returning to — and at times surpassing — pre-pandemic levels as consumers invest in more goods for their homes and families,” Newsome said. “SC Ports is well-known for expertly moving goods just-in-time for global companies. Our efficient operations and big-ship capabilities perfectly suit the needs of global retailers who require reliability and adaptability in their supply chains.”

SC Ports recently celebrated a big win in the retailer and e-commerce space with Walmart investing in a 3-million-square-foot distribution center in Dorchester County, S.C.

The facility is set to break ground in March 2021 and will eventually boost port volumes by 5%.

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