Due to a record-setting month of container volumes achieved in May, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) Board of Directors is looking ahead to a favorable 2016 fiscal year, with the adoption of a financial plan that includes increased operating revenues, continued cargo growth, and significant investments in capital.
The plan is projecting pier container volume of 1.15 million boxes during 2016, a 7.2 percent increase over projected totals for the current fiscal year. Strong growth at the Inland Port is also planned, with rail moves expected to increase 6.9 percent over the 2015 fiscal year projected totals.
“This plan builds upon year-over-year success of our port system,” says SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. “The 2016 fiscal year will be a significant time for our port and state, marked by the receipt of the Chief’s Report this September for our 52-foot harbor deepening project as well as the continued progress of Navy Base Terminal construction and other significant improvements to our existing terminals.”
Operating revenues in the new fiscal year are hoped to increase 9.2 percent, or $17.7 million higher than 2015 projected revenues.
The Board approves capital expenditures of $165.6 million for the fiscal year. The SCPA will invest $73.3 million over the next 12 months in the ongoing construction of the new container terminal on the former Navy Base, which will open in late 2019. Other primary capital expenditures include improvements in existing terminal infrastructure ,two new super post-Panamax cranes as well as other new equipment, upgrades for refrigerated cargo at the Wando Welch Terminal and a wharf strengthening project.
As measured in twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, SCPA has handled 1.7 million TEUs this fiscal year to date for gaining 13.7 percent over the same period last year. The port handled 181,809 TEUs last month, an increase of 12.5 percent over May 2014 volumes.
The SCPA handled 104,003 boxes in May alone, setting an all-time high for the number of containers handled during one month and pushing fiscal year to date box volume past 2014 fiscal year totals.