Charleston: Status of the Port

East Coast ports are seeing record numbers of container volume, mostly from shippers looking to avoid the congestion snarls on the West Coast. However, at some East Coast ports we’re seeing the same issues as these ports don’t have the infrastructure to handle the increased activity. 

Others, like the Port of Charleston, have been watching the steady growth, analyzing challenges, and making plans to accommodate and grow too. The Port of Charleston reports they haven’t had a backlog of ships waiting to berth since May. 

One of the innovative policies that will keep them moving forward is their decision to meet the demand for chassis by creating their own proprietary chassis pool. The Port Authority has taken possession of 5,000 of nearly 13,000 new chassis ordered for the first phase of the changeover to their private pool. Charleston already has 500 of these in use.

Charleston is also building a rail-served intermodal hub to the tune of $550 million dollars. This state-funded project should be completed in June 2025. Steve Kemp, the Vice President of Intermodal, Chassis and Operations Projects for the South Carolina Ports Authority, and the man responsible for developing the chassis program, as well as overseeing this project had this to say: 

“Ten years ago, rail volume at Charleston hovered around twelve to fourteen percent of total port volume, but now it’s over twenty-five percent. The growth is expanding beyond a 200-mile radius from the port, which is historically where rail movement starts to become competitive with truck movement. We expect to continue to grow that number as we fulfill those markets that are also growing. Not so much from the coast to the middle of the state, but now from the middle of the state onward to the western part of the country. There’s opportunities in growth that we see now being able to do when we have a more efficient, more capacity available rail network.” He went on to say, “The whole idea behind this facility is to give the Ports Authority a long-term rail solution for the next thirty years for us to not only serve customers we have today, but more importantly, be able to grow the rail component of our business.”

Should you decide to use the Charleston port, Argents has warehouse space ready to serve your needs. 

The key to navigating the changing logistics landscape is planning and adaptability, as evidenced by the plans put in motion by the SC Ports. That’s what we do at Argents, too. Our expert team watches trends, finds resolutions to burgeoning challenges, and we adapt to keep moving forward, all with the highest levels of service. Reach out to us today for a customized end-to-end logistics solution.