A region’s access to a major port has a significant impact on its economy. Fortunately, South Carolina, and Charleston in particular, has something to celebrate this year. It is now home to the deepest harbor on the East Coast. Here is what you need to know about that project and how it will impact the Charleston economy moving forward. 

Charleston, SC Now Has the East Coast’s Deepest Harbor

Last month, the South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) announced the completion of its deepening project of Charleston Harbor, creating the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. The port will now be able to welcome mega container ships no matter the tide. 

This major infrastructure project cost roughly $580 million, and funding was derived entirely from state and federal dollars. Work on the project began in 2018 after the state received a $300 million grant, which was followed up by several further rounds of federal funding. 

The 52-foot depth was achieved in Charleston Harbor up to both Leatherman Terminal and Wando Welch Terminal, and there is a 48-foot depth between Leatherman Terminal and North Charleston Terminal. The port also recently expanded rail at Inland Port Greer to support businesses and supply chains relying on the area. This port extends the SC Ports reach 212 miles inland, enabling exports and imports to quickly flow between the Upstate and Charleston. 

What the Deepest Harbor Means for the Charleston, SC Economy

The deepened port project will allow the SC Ports to handle mega container ships and increasingly higher cargo volumes. Having this deep harbor offers this region a distinct competitive advantage in terms of attracting businesses and keeping the supply chain moving. 

According to Governor Henry McMaster, the deep harbor will give the state “a major competitive edge in recruiting new jobs and investment while announcing to the world that this is the place to do business.”

SC Ports reports that the port has a $63.4 billion economic impact on the region. The port creates 1 in 10 S.C. jobs and continues to grow in volume. According to October figures, the port experienced 9% container growth year-over-year in addition to handling a record number of containers for the month. 

Because of the deepened harbor, South Carolina can expect increased economic growth for many years to come. 

Caldwell Commercial Can Help You Find the Right Opportunity in Charleston, SC

The Charleston, SC area continues to expand as businesses and industry discover the many opportunities available in the region. Whether your business is new, established, or growing in this area, Caldwell Commercial can help. 

We are the premier commercial real estate and property management firm in Charleston. Our professionals have decades of combined experience and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right real estate opportunity that achieves your goals.