Charleston volumes up in March
The South Carolina State Ports Authority said its terminals in Charleston handled 66,247 containers in March, 24.4 percent more than in March 2009, and 11.3 percent more February 2010.
It was the third straight month of year-over-year container volume increases.
Breakbulk volume was also up at the port authority’s terminals in Charleston and Georgetown, with total pier tons in March 46.5 percent higher than in March 2009.
'These volume gains are encouraging and significant,' said Jim Newsome, the port authority's president and chief executive officer. He attributed the growth to restocking of inventories, export market growth and the port authority’s aggressive new business development efforts. 'As ocean carriers look to enhance or start new services, Charleston is firmly on their radar screen,' he said.
Earlier this week Chilean container carrier CSAV said Charleston will be the last U.S. port outbound on its new America Express Service, or AMEX. The service will also call in the ports of New York-New Jersey and Port Everglades.
The service will operate with 10 2,700-TEU vessels, all provided by CSAV. Rotation is Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Xingang, Busan, Kingston, Port Everglades, Port Elizabeth, Charleston, Caucedo, Cartagena and Ningbo.
The service will provide a 21-day transit from Busan to Port Everglades. On the return leg, Charleston to Ningbo would be 31 days. The first Charleston call is expected on June 24 at the Wando Welch Terminal.