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February 19, 2015 11:05 AM, EST

South Carolina Container Volume Passes 1 Million Mark

South Carolina Ports Authority

Container volume in South Carolina increased to 1.07 million 20-foot equivalent units fiscal year to date.

Volume has increased 14% for the fiscal year started in July, according to the S.C. Ports Authority. Volume for January increased 18% to 152,917 TEUs from the same month last year.

“While ship sizes grow, driving increases in the number of container moves per vessel, our port continues to work well,” SCPA President Jim Newsome said in a statement. “Strong terminal productivity ensures trucks can efficiently move cargo in and out of our facilities without delays.”

Intermodal rail volume increased 38% from a year ago as the Inland Port had 5,068 rail moves last month, an all-time high. SCPA said about 20% of its total container volume moves by rail.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Vice President Joe Biden visited SCPA’s Wando Welch Terminal on Feb. 18 as part Foxx’s Grow America bus tour.

The Wando Welch facility is undergoing a wharf-improvement project, which received a $10.8 million TIGER grant in September.

The project includes upgrades to structural support as well as modifications to accommodate two new super-post-Panamax cranes on order for the terminal.

The facility receives about 11 post-Panamax vessels weekly, according to SCPA.

“The future is a choice, and Charleston will seize the opportunities the future holds by preparing its terminals to serve post-Panamax ships,” Foxx said . “The TIGER grant supports the port’s critical project to upgrade the Wando terminal structure and purchase new cranes to handle the growing size of ships today."

“Infrastructure investments grow jobs and economies, and they are critically important to our nation,” Biden said. “The future of commerce remains on the high seas, with cargo arriving on post-Panamax vessels. S.C. Ports Authority is ahead of the curve, and modernizing the Wando Terminal ensures continued growth of maritime commerce and jobs.”