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SC Ports handled record cargo volumes last year

South Carolina Ports joins Georgia and Virginia in posting a record 2022, with the Port of Charleston handling the most containers ever in its history. The port complex handled nearly 2.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units in the calendar year, up 1.5% from 2021, the port said Thursday.

SC Ports also moved more than 1.5 million pier containers in the year, a figure that accounts for containers of any size. That is a 1% gain year over year.

“South Carolina’s excellent port team and maritime community efficiently handled record cargo volumes and expertly navigated supply chain challenges to keep freight moving for our customers,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said in a Thursday release.

Not all metrics reflected year-over-year gains. Loaded export TEUs for the year totaled 665,459, down 18% from 814,984 in 2021, but loaded import TEUs totaled 1.38 million in 2022, up 7% from 1.29 million TEUs in the prior year.

SC Ports handled 199,343 vehicles at the Columbus Street Terminal, down from 233,887 vehicles in 2021.

Movement to SC Ports’ two rail-served inland ports, Inland Port Greer and Port Dillion, was also lower year over year. The ports handled a combined 167,147 rail moves in 2022, down from 189,646 in 2021.

Earlier this week, Virginia Port Authority and Georgia Ports Authority reported record 2022 volumes at their respective facilities. 

SC Ports said more than $2 billion has been invested in port infrastructure in recent years, with an additional $2.5 billion in spending planned over the next decade. 

Current projects include the construction of the Navy Base Intermodal Facility, which will be served by CSX (NASDAQ: CSX), Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) and Palmetto Railways, as well as the development of an inner-harbor barge operation that will transport cargo between the facility and the Port of Charleston’s container terminals.

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