Friday, June 21, 2024

February volumes soften at South Carolina Ports

Despite a year-over-year decline, last month’s volumes were the second-highest ever for February for South Carolina Ports.

Container volumes at the Port of Charleston totaled 201,418 twenty-foot equivalent units and 111,118 pier containers, down 13% from February 2022, the port said Monday. Volumes also fell from January, when SC Ports handled 215,238 TEUs and 118,179 pier containers.

But despite the dip, February’s container volumes “were stronger than typical.” A slowdown in consumer spending, higher costs for goods and loaded imports, and lighter volumes because of how the Lunar New Year affects manufacturing in Asia were all factors impacting volumes in February, according to SC Ports. 

Meanwhile, loaded exports rose 12% in February, while the rail-served inland ports also posted “strong” monthly volumes for the last three months. Inland ports Greer and Dillon handled 16,198 rail moves in February, with Inland Port Dillon handling 3,664 rail moves. In January, the two inland ports handled 16,222 rail moves, with Inland Port Dillon handling 3,709 of those.

SC Ports also saw 15,824 vehicles roll across the Port of Charleston, compared with 13,361 in January.

“While we are seeing economic uncertainty impact volumes, South Carolina Ports remains well positioned as a well-run port in the booming Southeast market,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said in a news release. “South Carolina continues to attract significant new business and investment. We have invested in port capacity and capabilities to efficiently handle goods for these port-dependent businesses.”

Since the start of the 2023 fiscal year on July 1, SC Ports has handled nearly 1.8 million TEUs and 978,374 pier containers — a 5% decrease compared to last year. 

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related links:

East Coast container imports still far above pre-pandemic levels

SC Ports handled record cargo volumes last year

October bountiful for ports on East, Gulf coasts

Trucking costs could stifle Biden’s off-site container storage plan

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