South Carolina's Big Year: What Ocean Shippers Need to Know About the Shipping Boom in the Palmetto State

Posted by Port City Logistics on Feb 15, 2023 10:31:06 AM

Did you know that South Carolina Ports are some of the busiest shipping terminals in the United States? In 2022, SC Ports moved almost 2.8 million TEUs, which is a 1.5% increase YOY. The Port of Charleston moved a record 1.5 million containers last year alone. The increased volume of freight moving through this strategic terminal points to a larger boom in South Carolina’s economy, as global retailers and manufacturers are expanding their operations, opening up new facilities, and capitalizing on the state’s economic investment in the ports. The South Carolina Department of Commerce secured more than $10bn in total investment funds last year from companies operating in South Carolina. Currently, there are over 120 new projects being worked on, producing 14,000 new jobs for the region. 

Drayage service providers are responsible for transporting the huge volume of containers being processed through South Carolina Ports. Ocean shippers depend on these companies for port drayage, warehousing and distribution, OTR transportation, and supply chain management as a whole. Shippers large and small who utilize the South Carolina Ports like to partner with a single source logistics provider to handle all the various touch points within their cargo’s journey. Port City Logistics is a fully-integrated transportation provider that owns and operates their own fleet of assets, equipment, and warehouse facilities, making them the number one choice for ocean shippers who use the Carolina Ports.

How a Strong Economy is Propelling Growth at the South Carolina Ports

Apart from the capital injection from global retailers and manufacturers, SC Ports have invested more than $2bn into port infrastructure in order to modernize the container terminals. This includes projects that bolster the harbor’s capacity, including deepening the harbor and connecting rail service to the inland ports. A major intermodal facility and rail yard are currently under construction, allowing rail companies like CSX and Norfolk Southern to connect South Carolina Ports to national rail services. South Carolina’s governor has allocated $550 million of state revenue to fund the development of these operations.

Much of the growth in South Carolina Ports is made possible by a booming logistics industry that connects the supply chains for hundreds of ocean shippers, BCOs and freight forwarders. In 2020, an industry report released by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness stated that the logistics industry accounted for $37.2bn worth of trade in the state.  In 2016, logistics providers hauled over 442 million tons of cargo across South Carolina, traversing the state’s rail, highway, airport, and waterways. That number is expected to climb 61% by 2040. “South Carolina Ports serves as South Carolina’s gateway to the world, giving companies direct access to global markets,” said SC Ports President Barbara Melvin.

All of this evidence points to the crucial significance of modern transportation service providers in sourcing capacity, managing drayage operations, and connecting ocean shippers to their North American customers. By partnering with a single source logistics provider like Port City Logistics, ocean shippers are able to simplify their operations, improve their communication, and gain more visibility on their supply chain.

South Carolina Ports Depend on Strong Performance from Inland Port Greer

One of the most prominent ports in the country are found in the SC Ports of Inland Port Greer and Port Dillon, which accounted for over 160,000 rail moves in 2022. These strategic ports allow global shippers to connect their supply chains to the vast rail networks in the U.S. southeast. A recently expanded rail infrastructure project at Inland Port Greer will double the terminal’s capacity, expanding the existing chassis yard, and providing new facilities that support heavy lift and terminal operations. Evidence of just how critically important Port Greer is for ocean shippers can be seen with in the following segment:

  • Inland Port Greer is a 24/7 terminal, helping shippers extend their reach well north of Port Charleston
  • According to the South Carolina Energy Office,in 2021, Inland Ports of Greer and Dillon helped shippers save 979,000 gallons of diesel and removed 11,500 tons of air emissions through reduced traffic. 
  • Inland Port Greer serves as a vital transportation hub for global manufacturers like BMW, which transports 60% of South Carolina-manufactured cars through Greer to over 120 different countries.

Port City Logistics is the Clear Choice for Ocean Shippers who Dock at South Carolina Ports

The enormous scale of economic development and infrastructure expansion found at the South Carolina Ports has increased demand for experienced service providers who can manage the unique operational requirements of global shippers. That is why ocean shippers large and small trust Port City Logistics when they deliver into South Carolina Ports. Port City Logistics is a fully-integrated single source logistics provider that offers a range of value-added services designed to streamline ocean freight. Port City Logistics owns their own fleet of assets, equipment, and over 1,000,000sq ft of warehouse and transloading facilities in Greer, SC, making them the number one choice for ocean shippers who use the SC Ports. Contact an expert at Port City Logistics today!

Topics: south carolina ports