Shipping article(s)
September 15, 2015

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (SEPTEMBER 14, 2015) – Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, is bullish on the future of his port, and of the Southeastern United States generally, he said at an address here today. 


“The Southeast is the best place to be, and the reason is pretty simple,” Newsome said at the authority’s annual State of the Port address. 


Newsome highlighted the fact that population growth trends in the US have shifted southward, away from northern cities.


“There are very few companies that are moving from the south back to the north. The general trend is for people to move south.” Manufacturing has led the move to the Southeast, he said, noting that manufacturing plants owned by BMW, Mercedes, Michelin and Volvo have brought significant amounts of foreign direct investment to the region – and significant amounts of cargo to the region’s ports.


To take advantage of its position on the US East Coast, Newsome said, the Port of Charleston is in the midst of a multi-year Army Corps of Engineers project to deepen and widen its ports.


“This is a big ship industry,” he said. “We need to prepare to have big ships. We think 14,000 TEU ships will come to the US East Coast very soon – they almost have to – and one thing is for certain, that these big ships require deep and wide harbours.”


US Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. Matthew Luzzatto, speaking later today at the South Carolina International Trade Conference, said that the US$500 million project would is expected to include extending the entrance channel by nearly five kilometres, and deepening the entrance channel to between 16 metres, with other sections of the rivers ending up at between 14 and 16 metres, varying by location.


“Along the way, the channel will be widened to facilitate the safe passage of ships past each other – two way traffic – as well ensuring the harbour pilots have the space they need to manoeuver those larger ships,” Luzzatto said.

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