Thanks to a steadily-increasing population, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has seen significant growth in import and export volumes over the last year. The once military-based economy has shifted to other sectors like thriving visitor, health care, and manufacturing industries. Real estate and development have also benefited from the number of new residents who have been drawn to the area.
As a result, SCPA container volumes increased 14 percent the last fiscal year, and is expected to gain another 7 percent this fiscal year. According to Erin Dhand, a spokesperson for the SCPA, “Those volume gains are driven significantly by the markets we serve — from a population perspective, the Southeast is the fastest-growing region in the country and provides a growing consumption base that drives import gains.” (Source)
Export volumes are growing because of the strong manufacturing presence in the region as well as a worldwide demand for agricultural products.
With a thriving import and export sector, the SCPA and the state of South Carolina plan to expand the SCPA over the next few years, and will execute $2 billion in port-related capital investments over 10 years. This will ensure the facilities have the capacity and technology to handle continued volume growth. These investments will address the most important trends in the industry, which include the deployment of big ships and alliances formed by major shipping lines.
For the SCPA, you can expect to see the opening of an inland Port in Greer, SC; a new container terminal; the High K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal; and improvements to technology systems and existing terminal infrastructure.
By the end of the decade, Charleston will be the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.
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