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Ports authority wants to handle 1M containers in FY15

Author: Liz Segrist

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal

March 19, 2015

The S.C. State Ports Authority plans to handle 1 million pier containers by the end of fiscal year 2015 in June, a goal that CEO Jim Newsome said the port has not achieved since before the recession.

The ports authority has moved about 700,000 pier containers — total boxes moved, regardless of size — thus far this fiscal year, including about 86,000 in February, up 17% from a year ago.

“February container volumes were particularly strong for a short month,” Newsome said during the board meeting Monday. “Our import gains are reflective of a strengthening U.S. economy and population growth across the Southeast, while manufacturing in our state and region bolsters our export business.”
CEO Jim Newsome said he expects the Port of Charleston to continue growing through the rest fiscal 2015, particularly with manufacturing exports.

In the fiscal year to date, the port has handled about 1.23 million 20-foot equivalent units, a common industry measurement that counts every 20 feet worth of container. This is up 14.3% from the same period in 2014.

Loaded boxes were nearly balanced between imports and exports last month. The port also handled about 58,000 tons of break-bulk cargo in February and 525,000 tons in the fiscal year to date.

Crane operators had about 40 moves per hour, and truckers had an average turn time of about 23 minutes for all terminals. The port began offering Saturday hours for truck drivers six weeks ago. Bill McLean, vice president of operations, said the new Saturday hours are yielding 700 gate moves on average.

The Inland Port’s volume also saw gains, with roughly 4,600 rail moves completed at the Greer site last month. In the fiscal year to date, the facility has handled about 35,000 rail moves and is nearly 50% ahead of plan.

About 121,000 passengers and 1,241 ships have come to the port in fiscal 2015.

The ports authority’s operating revenues for the period ending Feb. 28 were $123 million, up 21% from fiscal 2014. Total expenses were $103 million for fiscal 2015, up about 8.5% from the previous year. Operating earnings were up nearly 200% at $19 million.


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