THE South Carolina Ports Authority terminals are well-positioned to meet and exceed the industry's requirements for a modern port, says SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
Speaking to the Propeller Club of Charleston, Mr Newsome said that with harbour dredging, Charleston will remain the deepest harbour in the southeast offering postpanamax vessels a port of call without tidal restrictions by late 2018.
"The movement of cargo from our capable, productive facilities to its inland destination is increasingly cost-competitive with dual rail service and the inland port," he said.
Mr Newsome said southeast is a growing region for both consumption and manufacturing, but also faced a highly competitive market served by several ports. With slower market growth, all ports needed large investments to upgrade facilities.
"SCPA's mission is to be the preferred port in the US for our carrier and cargo clients," Mr Newsome said.
"Our aggressive plan ensures that we are well poised for the future in our industry and as an economic driver and catalyst for business development in South Carolina and across the Southeast. Our best years are ahead," he said.
The SCPA boasted eight per cent volume increases in FY2014, with nine per cent growth the previous fiscal year. The Port of Charleston ranked ninth in the country for 2013 TEU volumes, with growth trending above the market average year on year.
"Diversity of cargo across market segments, including container, breakbulk and cruise, contributed to our strong volume gains," Mr Newsome said.
"Upgrades for existing SCPA terminals and new capacity offered by the Navy Base terminal will ensure our facilities are capable of attracting and retaining cargo in each of these key business areas, important to the port's long-term success," he said.
Mr Newsome also cited plans with Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) to build a terminal in Jasper County. He also noted that despite the need to dredge the Port of Georgetown to 27 feet, its volumes grew nearly 12 per cent in fiscal year 2014.
SCPA's projects and capital investments reflect the changing fundamentals in the shipping industry and necessity to accommodate the deployment of postpanamax vessels to the east coast, Mr Newsome said.
Source : HKSG.