South Carolina Ports Posts August Container Volume Growth, Port breaks ground on new headquarters - SC Ports Authority
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South Carolina Ports Posts August Container Volume Growth

Port breaks ground on new headquarters

Officials from the Town of Mt. Pleasant, Choate Construction and LS3P join South Carolina Ports Authority in celebrating the groundbreaking of the Port’s new headquarters.

CHARLESTON, SC – SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 – On the heels of today’s State of the Port, South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) reported container volume of 177,728 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) handled in August.

Fiscal year to date, SCPA’s container volume is ahead of last year with 360,139 TEUs handled since July.

As measured in pier containers, or total box volume, the Port handled 100,427 containers in August. Nearly 204,000 pier containers moved across the docks of the Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals in July and August combined.

“Fall is a traditionally strong season for the Port, and we look for year-over-year volumes to increase in September and October compared to moderate growth in August,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO.

In non-containerized cargo, SCPA handled 45,615 pier tons in August. Charleston has moved 88,035 tons of breakbulk cargo fiscal year to date.

Inland Port Greer handled 12,742 rail moves in August, the second-highest month in its history. The facility is 18 percent ahead of last fiscal year’s volumes, with 19,753 rail moves handled over the last two months.

Board Action

The Board approved a construction contract for the first phase of a project to improve traffic flow at the Wando Terminal. The project includes the addition of an outbound truck lane, additional outbound security kiosks, extension of inbound truck queue lanes and a new parking lot to serve the terminal office building.

Groundbreaking for New SCPA Headquarters

Earlier today, SCPA held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its new headquarters in Mount Pleasant. The new 84,000 square foot headquarters at the Wando Welch Terminal will house approximately 200 employees who are currently working from multiple office locations.

“SCPA is extremely excited to break ground on our new headquarters, which serve as a single, modern campus for employees with direct access to terminal operations,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The Port adopted a new vision and values last year as part of a culture change initiative for our 500 employees, and a logical extension of that effort is the development of a new building that consolidates all office employees into one space. I also believe that our customers want to see ships and a terminal operating when they visit us – that’s the nature of our business, and the location of our headquarters near the Wando Welch Terminal, our busiest container terminal, is ideal in that regard.”

The Port headquarters is a design-build project that was awarded to Choate Construction Company and LS3P in May. The design will support cross-functional collaboration and communication across departments with an open floor plan, ample meeting space and glass atrium that extends through all four floors. Sustainability has been an important focus of the design process, and plans include water and energy reduction measures, high-efficiency HVAC and lighting, and an energy monitoring system to optimize energy consumption.

“We have strong partners in Choate and LS3P and look forward to making the building our new home late next year,” Newsome said. “We are also thankful to Lowe Enterprises, whose purchase of our existing building made this important move possible for the Port.”

The Port sold its current office at 176 Concord Street, Charleston, to Lowe Enterprises in January.

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer, handling international commerce valued at more than $63 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion annual economic activity. Home to the Southeast’s deepest port, SCPA is the industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit

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