By: David Wren Email @David_Wren_ Originally published at the Post and Courier
Sep 16 2015 12:29 pm Sep 16 8:50 pm
The setting sun silhouettes container cranes at the State Ports Authority’s Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant. Cargo box volume is up 8 percent for the first two months of the SPA’s fiscal year. FILE/PAUL ZOELLER/STAFF
“It’s been a good start to the year,” Jim Newsome, the SPA’s president and CEO, said of the August numbers, which were up despite economic uncertainty in China, which is the Port of Charleston’s largest trading partner. Newsome said he isn’t sure what impact a prolonged Chinese downturn could have.
“Anecdotally, some of our major customers are not shipping as much as they were,” Newsome said. “I don’t know if that’s short term. No one really knows what’s going on in China, but there are plenty of opportunities to grow our business. We have to stay focused on our plan and the economy will take care of itself.”
Newsome said he expects ports in the Southeast, including Charleston, will continue to outpace the U.S. port industry as a whole. Charleston’s port has grown roughly double the national average in recent years.
The SPA’s Inland Port in Greer, a rail-served cargo hub for Upstate manufacturers such as automaker BMW, moved more than 10,000 cargo boxes in August on its way to an annual goal of 100,000 for the first time since the facility opened in December 2013.
Reach David Wren at 937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_