Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Spartan

Port of Charleston

Recommended Posts

If you're a Yankee that sold your house in NJ and retired here for "quality of life" - you don't care if there is a viable economy here or not. Close the whole port down, it brings too many trucks to the roads while you are trying to get groceries right? Lots of people think like that and contributed to the situation today.

An interesting point: tying the arrival of "snowbird" retirees to economic decline. Hmmm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Charleston's largest industry has been (for about 3 decades), is, and will continue to be tourism. That ties in with retirees and "lifestyle relocations".

Thus, the port is only one part of the economy, and not the biggest part.

A working port, which uses waterfront area for terminals <instead of marsh or parks>, puts container ships in the harbor <where we want to fish>, and puts lots of trucks on the roads <which should be filled with happy SUV drivering merrymakers>; is not something that goes along well with tourism and quality of life in many CHS people's eyes.

It is what it is. The will of the community to keep Charleston as a strong port city, which is what it was for centuries before the current tourism thing, doesn't exist. So we'll fade. That's how things go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a good point, but I think that having a diverse economy that is much more important than putting the tourists first. Tourism is a fickle business, much more so than the port. Its important for Charleston to recogonize that it needs to be more than a living history museum. Tourism dollars can dry up if we hit a recession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

100% and fully agree. My post above was just stating what seems to be the prevailing situation - though I don't like it or agree with it.

As I said, Charleston was a port city first and foremost for a couple of centuries before we became a "lifestyle" city. I can remember seeing winos right on Market St search through garbage cans looking for minibottles with a few drops left in them around 1980. However, there were lots more sailors around downtown then since many vessels called at the nearby terminals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Port of Charleston needs to expand in order to have these favorable characteristics to attract steamship lines.

South Carolina's Port Authority approved $100+ million for terminal improvements and capacity enhancements in the next 12 months. $56 million for the new container terminal at the former naval base and $25 million for container yard expansion and improvements.

The new terminal will increase capacity by 50 percent when built out in 2025. They are expecting to have the first three berths ready to go in the next five to six years and expect to have a 10% capacity expansion at the Wando terminal that should be complete in September along with the potential for another 10 percent as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also amazed we are building the Jasper County port with Georgia. We might as well just put several hundred million dollars into that states economic development office. It will help Savannah way more than Charleston. In fifteen years Savannah's port complex will be double Charleston's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its about freaking time they decided to do something.

As for the new port, having more capacity within the state will be a good thing for our industries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its about freaking time they decided to do something.

As for the new port, having more capacity within the state will be a good thing for our industries.

In theory yes, but if you are a port related/dependent company, where are you going to build: 10 miles from the terminals or 100 miles? They should have built on Daniel Island like they had planned for the last 15 years or so. It would have given them 8 new berths instead of the 3 they will gain at the old navy base. Now those additional berths will be on Savannah's doorstep, an hour and a half (minimum) from Charleston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should have built on Daniel Island like they had planned for the last 15 years or so. It would have given them 8 new berths instead of the 3 they will gain at the old navy base. Now those additional berths will be on Savannah's doorstep, an hour and a half (minimum) from Charleston.

Well, the SC Legislature isn't exactly known for visionary leadership when it comes to developing the foundation for future economic development, so what else do you expect? Why be proactive when you can be reactive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Article in the Savannah paper regarding the Charleston port expansion plans. There is a rendering of the Naval Base Terminal in said article.

Here is an interesting quote from the piece:

But, while Charleston is currently constrained by a shortage of existing space, Savannah must deal with the issue of harbor depth, especially with the Panama Canal expansion expected to bring larger, deeper-draft ships into harbor.

Unlike Savannah, South Carolina's port is fairly well-equipped to handle most of the larger ships heading its way. Charleston's harbor deepening project was completed in May 2003, bringing the inner channels to 45 feet deep at mean low water and the entrance channel to 47 feet.

Article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I've been saying, we have the better natural harbor. What we don't have is the will of the community to use it to become a viable and appealing port. It takes both. The new developments mentioned above are what we needed in 1995. Now, we're playing a big game of catch up. But, like SAV passed CHS, maybe we can overtake them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, like SAV passed CHS, maybe we can overtake them.

Georgia has two things SC doesn't: a larger state budget & leaders committed to the port, and better marketing prowess.

Savannah more directly connects to Atlanta by rail & road. Charleston doesn't. Nuff said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No but Charleston connects to Columbia, the Upstate, Charlotte, the NC Triad and the NC Triangle. Charleston is the port for the Carolinas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No but Charleston connects to Columbia, the Upstate, Charlotte, the NC Triad and the NC Triangle. Charleston is the port for the Carolinas.

None of which have the combined clout, or volume of business, of one of American's largest distrubution centers (import & export): Atlanta. If that wasn't the case, then Charleston would still be leading over Savannah, correct?

Wilmington would be more of the port for the Triangle & Triad, in my estimation due to location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wilmington is not a large enough port to serve all of their needs. Norfolk is probably used more than Wilmington for the Triangle.

What it comes down to is not the fact that Georgia is a more populous state or that Atlanta is an economic center, its the fact that our all knowing legislature did not adequately fund the Port of Charleston and they did not follow the port-expansion plans that had be laid out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said this before - ports are marketing / selling to ocean carriers (Maersk, OOCL, Evergreen, etc). The carriers are their customers. Ocean carriers' port selection criteria primarily relate to cost and efficiency of the port so their vessels can load and discharge containers quickly and spend the min amount of time in port, with geographic location and distribution capabilities of the port being subsidiary concerns. Important, but not the most important. Note also that carriers don't just go to each port up and down the coast. In the US, carriers typically have two West Coast, one gulf (either Houston or New Orleans) and two Atlantic port calls (one southern and one northern).

Savannah and Charleston have no advantage over each other in terms of location to become the southern port call. Savannah, however, has advantages in terms of infrastructure for vessel efficiency, and some in terms of connectivity. That's where CHS lost out due to lack of commitment of our people and our lawmakers. We have the better natural harbor, which should make it easier for us to be the more efficient port. Again, it was our position to lose. And we did. We can learn from it and overtake SAV again, or languish.

Wilmington is a 3rd tier port, not in consideration in this little battle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Savannah more directly connects to Atlanta by rail & road. Charleston doesn't. Nuff said.

If Atlanta's status as an economic behemoth is your only (or most significant) criterion for the port of Savannah's growth and expansion, then why hasn't Savannah always been the larger, busier port? It's only been about a year or two ago that it overtook Charleston, and I don't think Atlanta's meteoric rise to economic heights began two years ago. Like Spartan said, this boils down to the state of GA investing more in the port of Savannah than the state of SC has done for the port of Charleston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Port Authority still gets influenced by the State in some way. Other wise they would have expanded and kept up as they should have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said this before - ports are marketing / selling to ocean carriers (Maersk, OOCL, Evergreen, etc). The carriers are their customers. Ocean carriers' port selection criteria primarily relate to cost and efficiency of the port so their vessels can load and discharge containers quickly and spend the min amount of time in port, with geographic location and distribution capabilities of the port being subsidiary concerns. Important, but not the most important. Note also that carriers don't just go to each port up and down the coast. In the US, carriers typically have two West Coast, one gulf (either Houston or New Orleans) and two Atlantic port calls (one southern and one northern).

Savannah and Charleston have no advantage over each other in terms of location to become the southern port call. Savannah, however, has advantages in terms of infrastructure for vessel efficiency, and some in terms of connectivity. That's where CHS lost out due to lack of commitment of our people and our lawmakers. We have the better natural harbor, which should make it easier for us to be the more efficient port. Again, it was our position to lose. And we did. We can learn from it and overtake SAV again, or languish.

Wilmington is a 3rd tier port, not in consideration in this little battle.

You have a great insight, NativeSon, and good points. Our better natural harbor should benefit from the taller and more spread apart bridge that can now accept the mega-ships. However, like you said, our ports authority needs to catch the ball and run with it.

If Atlanta's status as an economic behemoth is your only (or most significant) criterion for the port of Savannah's growth and expansion, then why hasn't Savannah always been the larger, busier port? It's only been about a year or two ago that it overtook Charleston, and I don't think Atlanta's meteoric rise to economic heights began two years ago. Like Spartan said, this boils down to the state of GA investing more in the port of Savannah than the state of SC has done for the port of Charleston.

Krazee, I agree. To your argument, I will add a personal observation: I drove I-16 (the interstate one takes in Savannah to get to Atlanta) everyday for years when I lived in Savannah and commuted to Statesboro. I drove it recently as well. I have also driven I-26 between Charleston and Columbia and points north. There is no comparison in the amount of truck traffic carrying containers from the ports: I-26 beats I-16 soundly. I-16 is pretty desolate, and I would argue that the containers originating in Savannah head north or south on I-95 rather than I-16 for Atlanta like the earlier post said. I have a friend in the trucking industry down in Savannah, perhaps I should ask for his insight on this, i.e., where are those containers going when they leave Savannah?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, lets not forget that Atlanta is a huge rail hub, so Savannah probably gets a lot of rail traffic. Thats much harder to judge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a relevant quote about the port of Charleston's lagging growth as compared to Savannah's in a speech given by the president of College of Charleston back in March entitled "The Charleston Economy: Gateway to the Southern Cross":

When I was at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, I traveled the state talking about the economy in 12 to 15 different cities each year. Somewhere in each speech I typically talked about Georgia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an article in the Post & Courier today about the economic impact of the Ports in Charleston.

Charleston's Ports...

  • Create nearly $45 billion in economic output annually
  • Create $12 billion in labor income
  • Generate $2 billion in wages and salaries to 50,700 people in Charleston

Statewide impacts:

  • The Piedmont's manufacturing sector accounts for more SPA-related jobs than any other region in the state
  • The Piedmont generates the largest share of port-related taxes at $684 million
  • SPA's tax impacts total about $1.5 billion annually
  • Nearly half of the state's manufacturing jobs relate to the port
  • It accounts for 75% of exports to South Carolina
  • It accounts for 80% of imports to South Carolina

Article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.