South Carolina to open first new US box terminal in 11 years
THE South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), in adopting its annual budget, announced the opening of the first new US container terminal in 11 years, reports Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive
THE South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), in adopting its annual budget, announced the opening of the first new US container terminal in 11 years, reports Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive.
The SCPA plan projects that the ports will handle more than 1.24 million pier containers from July 1 through June 30, 2021. The board expects US$264.2 million in operating revenues, which is estimated to generate $81.4 million in operating cash flow.
'We are in the final year of a six-year capital improvement plan,' SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome said. 'We are preparing for our major infrastructure projects to come online in 2021, while also continuing to ensure that our port works well. We have the best team in place to execute our goals.'
The board unanimously approved a $319 million capital spending plan for fiscal year 2021. Most of those funds will be used to finish building phase one of the Hugh K Leatherman Terminal. The Leatherman Terminal, set to open in March.
When completed, the first phase of the new terminal will have a 1,400-foot quay, five ship-to-shore cranes with 169 feet of lift height, 25 hybrid rubber-tyre gantry cranes, and the ability to handle 19,000-TEU vessels. Combined with upgrades at the current terminal, the SCPA will be able to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously. As part of the capital projects, the port is also deepening Charleston harbour to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021, further enabling access to bigger ships.
'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,' Mr Newsome said.
SCPA also reported that volumes have remained steady for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020 compared to the year prior. May volumes, however, were down year on year due to Covid-19 disrupting global supply chains and temporarily halting operations for many businesses and manufacturers.
The Port of Charleston reported that it handled 169,705 TEU in May, bringing its total to nearly 2.2 million TEU from July 2019 through May 30. In May, SCPA moved 97,966 pier containers, which measures the total number of boxes handled. This brings the fiscal-year-to-date 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.'