The Port of Charleston is a catalyst for economic success in South Carolina. Maritime commerce here generates 225,000 jobs statewide, the average income of which is approximately 32 percent higher than the state average. Our port pumps more than $63.4 billion a year into the region's economy from salaries, materials purchased, fuel sales, manufacturing jobs support, building trades, and logistics. Since 2010, South Carolina has benefited from a near one-to-one relationship between the growth rate in its port activity and the growth rate in its advanced manufacturing sector—the industrial sector that’s most responsible for the state’s strong economic growth during our current economic expansion.
The Port of Charleston is also a national and global leader for port efficiency and operations. It ranks among the busiest in cargo volume along the southeast and gulf coasts, directly serving some 100 nations daily. Maintaining a competitive edge is key to our port's future. Charleston terminals are closer to the open sea than many ports. Their short shipping lane, combined with one of the world's most efficient longshore operations, means ships can spend minimal time in port.
The opening of North Charleston’s Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal—the first container terminal to open in the United States since 2009—equips us to continue handling unprecedented levels of cargo amid ever-rising consumer demand. Further strengthening the port’s big-ship capabilities is the Charleston Harbor deepening project, which achieves a 52-foot depth, allowing the harbor to accommodate newer, larger container ships with deeper drafts. In addition to providing South Carolina with the deepest harbor on the East Coast, this development greatly increases SC Ports’ competitiveness and connectedness to the global market. Ongoing dredge maintenance is essential for our port to remain competitive and relevant in today's economy.
Clean energy is shaping the way we think about our region...and the way the world thinks about us.