South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) handled an unprecedented amount of cargo in 2021, making it its best calendar year in history.
Overall, SC Ports handed a total of 2.75 million TEU across its Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal, and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in 2021. This demonstrates a 19% increase from 2020 and a 13% increase compared to 2019.
“2021 was a truly banner year for SC Ports,” said Jim Newsome, CEO of SC Ports. “Amid tremendous and ongoing supply chain challenges, we handled record-breaking cargo volumes, while consistently providing capacity and fluidity for our customers. The strength of our port continues to be in the quality of our workforce and excellent maritime community.”
The operator set monthly year-on-year container records from March to December 2021, said to have been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, SC Ports handled 1.29 million TEU of loaded imports in 2021, a 25% increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, loaded exports grew 5% from the previous year to 814,964 TEU.
“Big retailers continue to grow, increasing their need for a reliable partner in the supply chain. SC Ports provides capacity for retails as record retail imports flow into the Port of Charleston,” Newsome continued. “By investing more than $2 billion in port infrastructure, SC Ports provides much-needed supply chain fluidity for customers.”
The company also finished the year with its strongest December on record, handling 246,198 TEU at its terminals. This brings container handling figures so far in its Fiscal Year 2022 – from July through December, to 1.42 million TEU – up nearly 17% year-over-year.
Following these new records, 2022 will see SC Ports working on several big achievements, including deploying 15 ship-to-shore cranes with 155 feet of lift height at the Wando Welch Terminal, achieving full utilisation of Phase One of Leatherman Terminal, and completing its Charleston Harbour Deepening Project.
“SC Ports has the capacity and fluidity needed in today’s challenging supply chain. We are the only port in the country with a new container terminal, with the Leatherman Terminal adding an additional berth to the East Coast port market,” Newsome said.
“We are continuing to enhance the Wando Welch Terminal and we will soon have the deepest harbour on the East Coast at 52 feet. We look forward to developing near-dock rail with the Navy Base Intermodal Facility. Our future is very bright.”
Also in 2021, SC Ports received a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant worth $1.3 million from the US Environmental Protection Agency to support project partners as they deploy all-electric, energy-efficient trucks in place of diesel-run vehicles.
Announced in August, the company facilitated the grant to project partners A&R Logistics and Benore Logistics Systems, with the shared goal of moving cargo more sustainably to significantly cutting emissions over time.