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Sept.5, 2016

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48 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE SEPTEMBER 5.2016 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE SOUTH CAROLINA PORTS W ith the opening of the Panama Canal expansion and continued deployment of large ships to create efficiencies, the South Carolina Ports Authority is poised to deliver the capacity and deep water necessary to continue handling the largest ships calling on the East Coast. A $1.3 billion capital investment plan that includes modernization of the harbor, terminals and inland infrastructure positions SCPA well to grow above the U.S. port market average. SCPA offers reliability and is the most efficient – and only deep-water – port in the Southeast. With the deepest shipping channels in its competitive region today, Charleston has become the big-ship hub of the South Atlantic. Carriers seeking to maximize the efficiencies of bigger assets have demonstrated that they will build their supply chains around unrestricted vessel access, and today 16 of the 26 weekly container services at SCPA now employ neo-Panamax vessels. Charleston routinely handles ships more than 1,100 feet long and 150 feet wide with drafts up to 48 feet. Preparations for the influx of bigger ships with a next-generation harbor deepening project in Charleston are on track to be completed by the end of the decade. Approved plans include deepening Charleston Harbor to 52 feet and its entrance channel to 54 feet, which will open it to the largest ships 24 hours a day, regardless of tides. As the first study completed entirely through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers SMART Planning process, the deepening of Charleston Harbor has progressed quickly. In collaboration with state and federal partner agencies, the new program was instrumental in reducing time and cost needed for the study, and associated environmental reviews and permits, from the corps' original estimate of seven years and $20 million, to four years and $11 million. In January, the assistant secretary of the U.S. army (civil works) issued a Record of Decision, the official notification to Congress that the project requirements have been fulfilled and that it awaits authorization. "The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project has an integral relationship with the development of our new container terminal, the Leatherman Terminal," SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said. "We are optimistic that the project will soon receive congressional authorization and that, by the end of the decade, we will achieve 52 feet of depth. This advantage will provide our customers with 24-hour access to deep water, a requirement for significant long-term volume growth in today's big-ship environment." Construction of the port authority's Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal is underway, with the first phase of container operations scheduled to open by December 2019, in conjunction with the completion of harbor deepening. The terminal will boost the port's capacity by 50 percent, providing another option for shipping lines calling the Port of Charleston. It is currently the only new, permitted container terminal under construction on the U.S. East or Gulf coasts. "At $700 million for Phase One, the Leatherman Terminal is the single largest project in our capital plan, and it will provide a significant addition to our port's berth and volume capacity when it opens," Newsome said. In addition to the new terminal, SCPA is investing approximately $600 million in improvements to existing facilities and $1.3 Billion Capital Plan Prepares South Carolina Ports to Keep Freight Moving in Big-Ship Era

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