On the heels of announcing its fiscal year 2013 volume results, including a nine percent gain in container volume and a more than 14 percent increase in non-containerized cargo at its two ports, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) reported operating earnings of $12.72 million, which was a net gain of $5.45 million from the previous year.
Operating revenues at the agency closed at $140.49 million for the 12-month period, seven percent ahead of the previous fiscal year's $130.95 million.
"Given our aggressive capital investments over the next several years, it is essential to maintain a solid financial position and a steady stream of funds toward these important projects," said Jim Newsome, the SCPA's president and CEO.
The SCPA is now two years into its 10-year, $1.3-billion capital plan that includes new equipment for handling the largest ships in the world's trade, upgrades to existing terminals, information systems and new facilities like the South Carolina Inland Port in Greer.
Progress on the 100-acre Upstate site has continued at a fast pace, and Monday marked the arrival of the first rubber-tired gantry (RTG) crane components to the facility. The SCPA is relocating three RTGs from Charleston to Greer in order to stack grounded containers in the inland port's storage yard. The first cargo is expected to arrive at the terminal in mid-October.
The largest single area of spending in the SCPA's capital plan is for the Navy Base Terminal, currently under construction in North Charleston. The facility's first major fill project - the $46-million upland and wall fill contract - is slated for completion by spring of 2014. At build out, the terminal will boost container capacity in the Port of Charleston by 50 percent.
About the South Carolina Ports Authority
The South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $63 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy.