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South Carolina Ports See Upswing in Cargo Volumes, Strengthening Southeast Market

Posted on May 31, 2023

South Carolina’s ports have witnessed an upswing in cargo volumes during the month of April.

The positive trend can be attributed to the robustness of the Southeast market, which has attracted significant investments from retail importers and advanced manufacturers, amounting to billions of dollars.

During April, SC Ports successfully moved 214,101 TEUs and 119,572 pier containers, encompassing containers of all sizes. While these figures represent a 19% decline compared to the previous year, which witnessed an unprecedented import boom, there was an encouraging month-over-month increase of 11% in cargo volumes.

The cumulative performance for fiscal year 2023 shows that SC Ports and the maritime community have handled 2.18 million TEUs and nearly 1.21 million pier containers. However, these numbers reflect a 9% decrease compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.

“We have invested in port capacity to ensure South Carolina remains competitive,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “Strategically investing in port infrastructure and operations supports economic growth and jobs throughout the state.”

SC Ports’ inland ports, located in Greer and Dillon, proved to be vital assets as they served as hubs for rail transportation. In April alone, the combined rail moves at these ports amounted to 17,177, indicating a notable year-over-year increase of almost 15%. Notably, Dillon achieved a new record for April with 3,752 rail moves, further highlighting the growing importance of these rail-served inland ports.

In addition to cargo handling, SC Ports also facilitated the transportation of vehicles, handling 12,957 units in April. The port also welcomed 25,942 cruise passengers, underscoring its versatility and ability to cater to various transportation needs.

Expressing her gratitude to the maritime community, Barbara Melvin acknowledged the exceptional performance of the port, which consistently delivers reliable service to the thriving Southeast market.

To support future growth, we are actively investing to increase our rail competitiveness by building a near-port intermodal hub that will further enhance fluidity for our customers,” said Melvin.

With its recent cargo volume upswing and ongoing investments in infrastructure, South Carolina Ports’ trajectory bodes well for the state’s economy, attracting more businesses and boosting trade in the Southeast region.


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