SC Ports Provides Reliability to Shippers

South Carolina Ports provides reliable, smooth and efficient service to port-dependent businesses in the Southeast and beyond.

To date, SC Ports has handled nearly 1.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and 867,256 pier containers in fiscal year 2023, representing containers of all sizes.

In January, SC Ports handled 215,238 TEUs and 118,179 pier containers. This is down about 5% from last year, with sizeable imports weakening on an annual basis.

Loaded exports rose nearly 11% in January. This is a positive trend for a strong exporting region with a thriving automotive industry.

The SC Department of Commerce reported that export sales totaled $31.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 6% from 2021. South Carolina remains the national leader in exports of finished passenger cars and tires.

Shippers benefit from the efficient operations of SC Ports and the Charleston Deep Port, now the deepest on the US East Coast at 50 feet (16 m). The deeper channel seamlessly handles ships loaded with heavy exports and imports.

SC Ports also offers a 7-day export receipt window that begins 11 days prior to a ship’s arrival, providing much-needed stability and reliability for U.S. businesses, farmers, and sophisticated manufacturers that need to ship goods overseas.

“Whether a farmer needs to export soybeans to international customers, or an automaker needs to import a part for its just-in-time production, companies know that SC Ports has a track record of providing excellent service and tailored solutions, SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said.

SC Ports also handled 13,361 automotive vehicles in January. Inland Ports of Greer and Dillon together reported 16,222 rail movements last month, with Inland Port Dillon handling a record 3,709 rail movements in January.

Expansion of intermodal possibilities

South Carolina Ports is one step closer to having near-dock rail in the Port of Charleston, further improving intermodal capabilities and making South Carolina even more competitive.

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$400 million in state funding is transforming a North Charleston site into a modern freight yard with rail connections. The naval base’s intermodal facility is expected to open in 2025.

Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern will serve the facility, in partnership with Palmetto Railways. Within the Navy Base Intermodal Facility, rail-mounted gantry cranes will guide containers in and out of trains.

The facility will seamlessly move cargo between the port and the domestic market, and will also support SC Ports’ rail-operated inland ports in Greer and Dillon.

“The Navy Base Intermodal Facility will help keep SC Ports competitive by improving rail capabilities, cargo capacity and speed to market for customers,” said Melvin. “South Carolina continues to be a powerhouse in attracting investment. As companies expand their operations and invest in new facilities, SC Ports invests in critical port infrastructure to support this growth.”

About the South Carolina Port Authority

Established by the state General Assembly in 1942, South Carolina Ports Authority owns and operates public seaports and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown, and Greer. As an engine of economic development for the state, port operations facilitate 225,000 jobs statewide and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports will soon be home to the deepest port on the US East Coast at 16 meters. SC Ports is an industry leader in providing rapid time to market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, large vessel handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Visit for more information on SC ports.

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