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SC Ports efficiently works big ships as imports increase

The 15,286-TEU MSC Kayley is among the biggest container ships to ever call the Port of Charleston, as well as the largest MSC vessel to call Charleston.

Posted on March 27, 2024

South Carolina Ports seamlessly handled big ships and big move counts at Wando Welch Terminal as imports trend back up.

The SC Ports team and maritime community recently moved 4,474 containers on and off the ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Mount Olympus vessel. This marked one of the highest move counts ever on a vessel at SC Ports and the highest move count of any ZIM/2M operated vessel to call the Port of Charleston.

SC Ports also efficiently worked the 15,286-TEU MSC Kayley at Wando Welch Terminal. With its gross tonnage and capacity, this vessel is among the biggest container ships to ever call the Port of Charleston, as well as the largest MSC vessel to call Charleston.

Beyond efficient berthing operations and high crane productivity, SC Ports maintained less than 39-minute truck turn times and efficiently handled 6,000 daily gate transactions.

“Our bold infrastructure investments and stellar maritime workforce provide highly productive port service for our customers,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “We provide the speed, reliability and connectivity that our customers depend on to thrive.”

South Carolina Ports handled 202,349 TEUs and 111,902 pier containers in February, with pier containers up 1% from last year. Loaded import TEUs were up 11% over last February, showing signs of strength in the overall economy.

Inland ports and rail volumes continue to perform exceedingly well month after month. Inland Port Greer handled 15,801 rail moves last month, a 26% increase year-over-year. Inland Port Dillon handled 4,147 rail moves, up 13% from last year.

Fiscal-year-to-date, the two rail-served inland ports saw 34% growth compared to the year prior, handling a combined 151,324 containers.

“Our inland ports provide efficient service and reduced emissions for cargo movements,” Melvin said. “Customers benefit from the having direct rail access between the Port of Charleston and inland markets, and the sustained growth at Inland Port Greer called for an expansion to handle even more cargo via rail.”

SC Ports handled 15,555 vehicles in February, which is down 2% year-over-year. The vehicle segment accounts for 16% growth thus far in fiscal year 2024 however, with 144,415 vehicles rolling across the docks since July.


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