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South Carolina opens first new US container terminal in 11 years

THE South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) announced the opening of the first new container terminal in the US in 11 years according to Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive

06 August 2020 - 19:00

THE South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) announced the opening of the first new container terminal in the US in 11 years according to Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive.

The announcement came with the SCPA's 2021 budget, which includes major investments to continue the growth in the ports.



The ports are projected to handle more than 1.24 million pier containers from July 1 to June 30 2021. The SCPA is expecting US$264.2 million in operating revenues, which is estimated to be an $81.4 million operating cash flow.



The SCPA approved a $319 million capital spending plan for the fiscal year of 2021. Most of it will go finishing construction of the Hugh K Leatherman Terminal, the first new container terminal in the US since 2009.



The terminal is expected to open in March, and when completed, the first phase of it will have a 1,400-foot wharf, five ship-to-shore cranes, 25 hybrid rubber-tiered gantry cranes, and the capacity to handle 19,000-TEU vessels.



With the addition of the new terminal, SC ports will have the ability to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels at the same time.



The port is also deepening Charleston harbour to a 52-foot depth in 2021, which will further enable mega ships to access port terminals.



'The opening of the Leatherman Terminal will mark an extension of the successful container operations concept at the Wando Terminal with the transfer of four large ship services to that location at its opening while leveraging SCPA's existing workforce,' said SCPA chief executive Jim Newsome.



SC ports have reported that volumes have remained steady for the first 11 months of the fiscal year of 2020 compared to 2019.



Despite this, May volumes were down due to Covid-19 disruption of global supply chains and a temporary halting of operation.



The Port of Charleston reported a handling of 169,705 TEUs in May. The port has handled 2.2 million TEU from July 2019 to May 30.



SC ports moved 97,966 pier containers in May, which makes the fiscal year total of pier containers to 1.23 million.



'We were on track for another record fiscal year until the pandemic happened,' Mr Newsome said.



'Nevertheless, ports are a long-term business requiring long-term planning. We have great fundamentals as a growing port in the Southeast. We will continue to thrive. Our future is very bright.'


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