The Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, the first new terminal in the US since 2009, has welcomed its first container vessel after opening at the Port of Charleston earlier in April 2021.
South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) said operations at the new terminal launched on 30 March 2021 with the arrival of the first container, followed by the inaugural container vessel visit on 9 April 2021 from Hapag-Lloyd’s ‘Yorktown Express’.
State Governor Henry McMaster describes the new terminal as “an investment in the future of South Carolina” and that it will spur economic development, create jobs and further the state’s position as an international business destination “for years to come”.
The terminal can efficiently work the biggest ships calling at US East Coast ports, according to SC Ports. Phase One has added 700,000 TEU of throughput capacity to the Port of Charleston.
SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said that the opening of the terminal comes at just the right time, as US container ports continue to handle unprecedented cargo volumes amid strong consumer demand.
SC Ports had an all-time cargo record in March, with a 50% year-over-year increase in loaded imports.
“SC Ports is extremely proud to open the first container terminal in the U.S. since 2009 in South Carolina. This took years of effort by our team and project partners,” Newsome said.
“We have invested in the right infrastructure at the right time to handle growing cargo volumes and bigger ships, ensuring SC Ports remains a top 10 U.S. container port.
“The Leatherman Terminal adds a berth and more capacity to the Port of Charleston when it is most needed on the East Coast.
“We made history today as we advance SC Ports’ capabilities and enhance South Carolina’s supply chain for generations to come. Tomorrow is here at SC Ports.”