The Port of Charleston has the deepest water in the southeastern United States, handling $65.1+ billion in imports and exports, providing 260,800 jobs, and yielding an economic impact of $45 billion annually. As if that’s not enough, representatives say the port is, “heavily investing in new and existing terminals with a 10-year, $1.3 billion capital plan.”
Read on to catch up on the impressive facts and figures surrounding this booming port and how it has readied itself for the Panama Canal expansion.
- At least six vessels enter the harbor each day, with 3 percent being cruise ships, and the rest being made up of containers and break-bulk pier tons. Pier container volume increased 8 percent in FY2014.
- Boasting the deepest water in the southern Atlantic United States, the port’s five terminals handle a variety of cargo including bulk, break-bulk and container. The port handled 1.68 million TEUs in 2014.
- Biggest export? Think wood. Given its proximity to regional forestry resources, many of the Southeast’s forestry products — lumber, paper and pulp — go through the port.
- A total of 5,279 vessels (excluding barges) docked at the port from 2011-2013, with the port servicing 18 of the top 20 largest container ship lines.
- Beyond the port itself, more than 20 million square feet of prime Class A industrial distribution centers will be developed in the market in the next few years. Speculative buildings in the 200,000-1.5 million-square-foot range are scheduled within an hour’s drive of the port facilities, luring large-scale import and export operations. Some of the most prominent companies in the industrial development business are aggressively pursuing and closing projects within a range that will deliver 4+ truck turns per day.
The Port of Charleston is part of a series on the preparedness of U.S. ports for the Panama Canal expansion. Download an in-depth look at the port published by the NAIOP Research Foundation.
Kathryn Hamilton is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.