The South Carolina Ports experienced its best calendar year in history in 2021, even in the face of ongoing supply chain challenges. The South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA) reported an 18% increase in pier containers handled from the prior year, setting year-over-year records for ten consecutive months. The growth is continuing into 2022 with a record volume of business. 

Containers Handled in 2022 Continue at Record Levels

In fiscal year 2022, the S.C. Ports Authority has already moved over 1.87 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), resulting in a 12th consecutive month of record volumes. There was a 26% year-over-year increase in February’s volume at the Wando Welch, North Charleston, and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminals. 

Imports Up at South Carolina Ports

The increase in online sales over the past several years has resulted in a boom for the SCPA. Supply chain issues have created logjams at some of this country’s largest ports, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Savannah. Many shippers are looking to avoid bottlenecks by choosing smaller ports, and Charleston has been enjoying the attention. 

Imports at the SCPA in March were up 16% year-over-year. For fiscal year 2022, South Carolina Ports has moved 2.14 million TEUs. The port authority claims it is responding to ongoing supply chain issues and record volumes with solutions like selective term leasing of the organization’s new chassis, offering Sunday hours for motor carriers, and some strategic investments. 

Expansion Plans Continue at SCPA

In recent years, SC Ports has invested over $2 billion to enhance its infrastructure. These investments are accommodating cargo growth by making sure the port can handle mega container ships. 

The Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, the first greenfield container terminal constructed in the U.S. since 2009, opened in March 2021. The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project is continuing and will achieve a 52-foot depth sometime this year, making Charleston the deepest harbor on the East Coast. Other projects are on tap to expand the Inland Port Greer and modernize the Wando Welch Terminal.  

Commercial Real Estate Opportunities

The continued expansion of operation at the South Carolina Ports is indicative of a trend in the supply chain to shift freight through areas like Charleston instead of some of the more traditional U.S. ports. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses and investors in the area to take advantage of this explosive growth. 

If you are planning on purchasing or leasing property anywhere in the Charleston area, you’ll want to work with a reputable and experienced commercial real estate company. The professionals at Calwell Commercial have over 80 years of combined experience, offering you the best commercial real estate and property management services in the business. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help make your vision a reality.