SC Ports halts construction works to reduce vessel queues

SC Ports reduces its vessel queue

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) is working to reduce vessel queues by implementing operational solutions and temporarily pausing toe wall construction for ocean carrier and cargo owner customers.

Operational solutions have already helped decrease both wait times and the number of ships waiting, as reported by the authority.

The port authority has been working through a ship backlog, following a two-day software issue in May and ongoing berth impacts at Wando Welch Terminal related to toe wall construction along the wharf to maintain a 54-foot berth depth.

Beginning on 3 July, SC Ports will pause work on the toe wall project to reopen all three berths at Wando Welch Terminal through 14 July. This pause in construction is expected to expedite the processing of ships and clear the remaining anchorage, benefitting ocean carrier customers and shippers.

SC Ports expects to work ships on arrival by mid-July. As the toe wall construction resumes going into August, a 48-hour average wait is anticipated.

READ: SC Ports enjoys strong volumes at inland terminals

The port authority anticipates working three ships simultaneously at Wando Welch Terminal in late fall ahead of the project completion, which is slated for March 2025. The planned reopening of Leatherman Terminal will also soon provide an additional berth for ocean carriers to call at the Port of Charleston.

Construction of the toe wall began in March 2024.

The work of installing steel sheets along the wharf is done in sections, allowing SC Ports to accommodate three ships at the terminal for most of the spring. As work progressed down the wharf, only two berths were available, causing longer wait times for vessels.

READ: SC Ports witnesses economic success in Upstate

“Our team and maritime partners are working together to ensure fluidity for our customers amid this critical infrastructure project,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said.

“Our ability to provide creative solutions when challenges arise, along with the incredible support we receive from our customers, makes all the difference in navigating short-term supply chain challenges.”

Just recently, the port authority signed an agreement with the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) to jointly reopen Leatherman Terminal.

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