Charleston expects permit for new terminal in April
The South Carolina State Ports Authority plans to begin development of a new container terminal at a former U.S. Navy base early next year.
“As soon as we get the permit – which we now expect in April — we’re ready to roll at the Navy Base,” Bernard C. Groseclose, Jr., the port authority’s chief executive officer, told members of the port community in his annual “state of the port” address this week. “From the information we have from the Corps of Engineers, I am as optimistic as I have ever been that we are on the verge of actually getting a permit.”
The port plans a new three-berth, 280-acre container terminal on the former Charleston Naval Complex. The $600-million project would boost port capacity by 1.3 million TEUs.
“South Carolina must expand its port system. If we don’t, we will lose the edge on one of our state’s most important tools for business attraction and economic development,” he added.
Groseclose also said the port is committed to expanding on the Savannah River in Jasper County where the state has battled the private company Stevedoring Services of America for control of 1,800 acres.
The port authority taken steps to increase capacity, buying four new super-post-Panamax container cranes for $38 million, which will be delivered in March, and 16 new container yard stacking cranes for $24 million, he said.
The port has also slashed dwell time at its terminals by 40 percent to 80 percent, he added.
“That creates immediate space and it translates into higher productivity for the ocean carrier and for the trucker. It hasn’t been easy, but looking at the numbers, it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness,” Groseclose said.