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Port of Charleston's April container volume up 9pc to 134,718 TEU

5/31/2013 9:25:52 AM

THE Port of Charleston's two container terminals posted a nine per cent year-on-year increase in April to 134,718 TEU, and a 17 per cent increase from April the year before in 2011.

"Our volume continues to grow above the market, and we must continue our aggressive sales efforts as we heavily invest in our port's infrastructure," said South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) chief executive Jim Newsome.

The SCPA is building an inland port in Greer to enhance freight movement to and from the port's regional customers as well as building a new container terminal on the former Charleston Navy Base in North Charleston. This will boost capacity 50 per cent at full build out.

In the fiscal year to date (July through April), container volume was 10 per cent ahead of the same period last year and represents the highest fiscal year-to-date increase in five years. Charleston moved 1.3 million TEU during the past 10 months, compared to 1.2 million TEU in fiscal year 2012.

"With new service deployments beginning in June, and additional large vessels calling our port this month, we expect a solid finish to the fiscal year," Mr Newsome said.

The SCPA's non-containerised facilities in Charleston and Georgetown handled 155,842 tonnes of cargo in April, a 42 per cent increase from the same month last year. The total tonnage at the two ports was 1.4 million tonnes of bulk and breakbulk cargo from July to April, a 17 per cent gain from the same period in fiscal year 2012.

The month of April also saw the first Maersk ship of more than 8,000 TEU capacity to call at Charleston, with the 1,155-foot-long Axel Maersk call on April 1.

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