South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) has completed the deepening project of Charleston Harbor – now the deepest of its kind on the US East Coast at 52 feet.
The deepened harbour is expected to support South Carolina’s economy and Southeast supply chains.
Alongside cargo growth, SC Ports anticipates this new depth to increase competitiveness, help attract new ship services and first-in-calls.
Governor Henry McMaster and other state elected leaders, Congressional Members, project partners, business and maritime community leaders, and SC Ports officials gathered to mark the successful completion of the project.
“It is a truly historical moment to be celebrating this monumental achievement. Charleston Harbor has been deepened to 52 feet,” said SC Ports President and CEO, Barbara Melvin.
“With the deepest harbour on the East Coast, we can efficiently work mega container ships at any tide. This investment will bring economic success to South Carolina for generations to come.”
The roughly $580 million infrastructure project was fully funded by state and federal dollars.
Deepening work began in 2018, thanks to a $300 million grant awarded by the state back in 2012, followed by several infusions of federal funding.
Deepening began in the entrance channel and continued through the harbour up to SC Ports’ three container terminals. The entrance channel was deepened to 54 feet.
A 52-foot depth was also achieved in Charleston Harbor up to both Wando Welch Terminal and Leatherman Terminal, and a 48-foot depth was achieved between Leatherman Terminal and North Charleston Terminal.
With the deepening project complete, SC Ports will be able to handle increasingly high cargo volumes and mega container ships calling on the Port of Charleston.