The South Atlantic port is seeking more space for container storage as its volumes continue to increase, with a record 1.23 million boxes handled in 2017 and even higher volumes expected to be handled in 2018, the Post and Courier reported.
The Port of Charleston is seeking more space for container storage as its volumes continue to increase, according to local media source Post and Courier.
In 2017, the port set a new record, handling 1.23 million boxes, while a further 6 percent growth is predicted for 2018, Port and Courier reported.
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) is considering ways to revamp the 250 acres of storage space at the Wando Welch Terminal container yard. Taller cranes can already stack the metal boxes higher and in a tighter configuration, while offices are currently being moved to make more efficient use of space.
The SCPA has previously put container capacity at 2.8 million per year, but will meet next month to determine just how many containers the port can hold.
The SCPA’s future Leatherman Terminal at the former Navy base in North Charleston will be able to store about 1.4 million containers a year at full build-out, but the first phase of that $762 million project isn’t scheduled to open until 2020.
Additionally, a $63 million wharf refurbishment project that has shut down one of three berths for more than two years at Wando Welch will be finished in April, and will allow more flexibility and efficiency at the terminal, Post and Courier reported.
SCPA’s President and CEO Jim Newsome said that larger containerships have been occupying berth space for up to 24 hours and juggling berth space. The shipping lines haven’t been happy about juggling their schedules to find berth space, but they’ve “put up with it” without too many complaints, he said. However, “the day we have the third berth back will be a very happy day in our lives,” Newsome told Post and Courier.
According to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting, the Port of Charleston is called by 31 liner services connecting it to regions outside North America, 26 of which deploy fully cellular containerships. BlueWater Reporting’s Terminal Analysis tool shows these fully cellular container services have a total combined deployed capacity of 1.6 million TEUs.