The South Caroline Ports Authority (SPCA) announced last week that the 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) volume has increased by 2.8 percent this fiscal year.
The port handled 157,959 TEUs in April and 1.6 million TEUs since July 2015. The port moved 631,753 TEUs between Jan. 1 and April 30.
When measured by pier containers, or total box volume, SCPA has moved 907,259 containers through the Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals since the beginning of the fiscal year. While April's container volume was down slightly, 74,915 pier tons of non-containerized cargo volume were handled at the Port of Charleston.
“April loaded container volumes were slightly below last year, a trend we’re seeing consistently in the reported volumes across the major East Coast ports,” SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome said. “This trend is reflective of the fact that the overall container trade is tepid. Empty container volumes are lagging compared to levels we experienced last year, but we look for empty flows to improve in the next few months as containers will be needed overseas to originate shipments. We expect May to be the strongest month thus far this year and will see benefits in the next few months from the upsizing of vessels in response to the Panama Canal expansion. Container lines will soon need to deploy 8,000 TEU ships and above to ports with the right mix of attributes to handle those vessels.”