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Spartan

Port of Charleston

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The Federal Government has a new regulation that will restrict all boats over 60' from going more than 11.5 knots in order to protect the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. What's interesting is that South Carolina is trying to get around that law because they say it unfairly targets the Port of Charleston, since it is the only east coast port that operates pilot boats over 60' in length.

The State

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The SPA is meeting today, supposedly to finalize the offers to be made to Maersk in order to keep their business coming to Charleston after the union debacle earlier this year. More details to come after the meeting, because its being closed to the public.

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Yes , I was quite relieved to see that news plus the Boeing plant confirmation. While Boeing won't be exporting by sea, they may import some parts / materials. The main thing is that it's just good for the area to have another real industry, one of America's premier companies as the matter of fact.

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According to a recent article in The State, traffic at the port of Charleston plummeted 37% from 2004 to 2009, dropping it to ninth in the nation from fourth. During the same time, shipping at the port of Savannah rose 42%, increasing its rank in the nation from fifth to fourth. Here's a pertinent excerpt:

South Carolina's problems in recruiting distribution centers began in the late 1990s, based on a common misconception.

Distribution centers drive shipping, not the other way around.

But the port of Charleston had focused on courting and retaining shipping firms, rather than working closely with state and local officials to recruit customers - the large retailers who would go on to build or lease huge distribution centers to get their goods to the then-exploding Southeastern market.

While state and port officials quarreled over a new terminal and busied themselves with the needed work of dredging and building a new Cooper River bridge, Georgia and other states were getting busy in acquiring land and building infrastructure.

Meanwhile, with the support of their state and local governments, the port of Savannah and the twin ports of Norfolk and Suffolk, Va., worked with developers to nail down key property along nearby interstate highways, improve interchanges, install infrastructure and lay the foundation to reel in the distribution center expansion to come.

As a result, Savannah landed the lucrative 1.5 million-square-foot Home Depot distribution center. It also boasts Walmart, Target, Sears/Kmart, Lowe's and IKEA.

Ships followed.

Traffic to Charleston dropped, and shipping to Savannah skyrocketed.

The loss of the import race affects exports as well. All those ships coming in fill up before they leave.

From 2004 to 2009, 20-foot containers hauled into and out of Charleston plunged to about 1.2 million a year from nearly 1.9 million, while Savannah's traffic spiked to 2.3 million from 1.7 million.

"We lost our competitive edge," Port of Charleston spokesman Byron Miller said.

Seems like if there's anything that symbolizes the state's lack of foresight and "a day late and a dollar short" mentality, it's this situation with the port. There's too much emphasis on throwing incentives at companies that show interest in setting up shop in the state (corporate welfare) and not enough on investing in the workforce which will naturally result in proper and sustained economic growth over the long run.

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Well said. The Port's operation must be more abysmal than I thought. Just imagine if they had lost Maersk. This sentence sums it up pretty well to me:

"While state and port officials quarreled over a new terminal and busied themselves with the needed work of dredging and building a new Cooper River bridge, Georgia and other states were getting busy in acquiring land and building infrastructure."

What ever happened to that new terminal anyway? It seems to me that since Noisette's future is still questionable that they should turn all of the old naval yards into more terminal space, and have better linkages with rail, the interstate and other distribution facilities.

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Well the good news is that the Ports Authority is looking to build a new terminal. The bad news is that its for cruise ships. I'm not opposed to creating more room for cruise ships, but I'd like to see more effort towards creating space for cargo ships.

The State

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Well the good news is that the Ports Authority is looking to build a new terminal. The bad news is that its for cruise ships. I'm not opposed to creating more room for cruise ships, but I'd like to see more effort towards creating space for cargo ships.

The State

That's not bad news: it's definitely WONDERFUL news to get rid of that hideous current cruise ship terminal in favor of the exciting one just announced!

View the plan here: http://www.unionpierplan.com/whats-new.html

Wow, this is gonna be GREAT!!

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Wow, that's going to open up A LOT of prime real estate. If they do it right it should pay for a new terminal elsewhere with no problem.

I hope they are able to preserve the railroad tracks too. Those tracks are the only ones that go south of Calhoun. They could be used for passenger rail at some point in the future.

Regarding my previous post, my concern is not so much what they do with this land so much as it is that the SCPA needs to double its efforts to maintain and improve its capacity.

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This isn't directly port-related, but it will definitely impact how the ports function:

"The report estimates that during construction and development, the North Charleston rail plan would create $111.9 in additional output and 1,410 jobs. Ongoing annual operations stimulus across the state would translate into $73.4 in additional output and 869 permanent jobs.

The commercial rail plan calls for the construction of an intermodal rail hub and warehousing facilities to be jointly developed by CSX and Shipyard Creek Associates, primarily to serve the new container terminal being constructed on the former Navy base in North Charleston. It would also remove 3.2 miles of CSX rail lines running through the city, build about half a mile of new track, and renovate another half-mile of mostly unused track."

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-pegs-economic-impact-of-n-charleston-rail-plan-at-734-million-statewide-with-869-permanent-jobs-created-102445329.html

If this happens, this will definitely benefit the entire state.

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How deep is the Ashley River? Why can't we use that? I think I know why.... :whistling:

Also, there is some sort of "dead" island that is now flooded. You can see it if you're on I-526 and cross the Cooper River going towards Mt. Pleasant. I don't recall it being flooded when I moved here. Is this where the new terminal is going? There are bulldozers on the island...but why flood it?

Another thing...we have something Savannah does not. We have the excellently built canal from the Pinopolis dam. We can divert more water to the Cooper and let it dredge itself. I also read that some people in Savannah are opposed to the dredging there because it will allow much further upstream tidal surges that will kill marshlands.

I found this intersting, too...

Savannah is the only East Coast harbor that is tide regulated. Ships will plan their voyage as such or stay within the approach shipping lanes off our coast until the tide is high enough to sail upriver. This is due to the shallowness of the ocean bottom right of our coast, a problem that our competitors, Norfolk and NY/NJ, do not have to maneuver around or deal with

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Ninety-eight mayors representing a cross-section of the state sent President Barack Obama a letter last Thursday imploring him to fund a $400,000 study that would examine deepening of Charleston Harbor to 50 feet. The study is needed to move forward with a $300 million dredging project that would allow Charleston, already the Southeast’s deepest harbor, to fully accommodate the world’s largest containerships.

While the Charleston project is slated to cost somewhere around $300 million, estimates put the price of deepening rival Savannah Harbor to 48 feet at more than twice that much.

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Also, there is some sort of "dead" island that is now flooded. You can see it if you're on I-526 and cross the Cooper River going towards Mt. Pleasant. I don't recall it being flooded when I moved here. Is this where the new terminal is going? There are bulldozers on the island...but why flood it?

They use the island for dredging. That's why it looks flooded every few months or so. I don't think they will be building any new terminal there as there isn't any sort of road or rail access.

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They use the island for dredging. That's why it looks flooded every few months or so. I don't think they will be building any new terminal there as there isn't any sort of road or rail access.

I believe this area is considered to be part of Thomas Island. And no, there's no plans to build anything there and it will be forever used as a dredging dumpsite.

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Looks like state lawmakers are trying to thwart plans to deepen neighboring port of Savannah so that it can be ready for mega-container ships expected to start calling on East Coast ports in 2015. It's pretty pathetic of SC to try and block this; it's not GA's fault that SC is so short-sighted and is always a day late and dollar short. It reeks of desperation too, IMO.

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In addition to the above, SC lawmakers were also wanting $400,000 for a study to deepen Charleston Harbor to 50 feet from 45 feet to be ready for the Panama Canal expansion, but no such funding was included in Pres. Obama's budget released today. Feasibility study funds must come from the federal government. The port needs an estimated $250 million to $300 million for actual expansion.

On the flip side, Georgia is only getting $600,000 in "pre-construction" money for deepening the Port of Savannah which is a far cry from the $105 million that was requested. That, in turn, is but a fraction of the total cost of deepening the harbor, estimated at about $551 million.

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Looks like Savannah and Norfolk overtaking Charleston has really lit a fire under some asses. Or maybe its just the media takign advantage of the change in status. Either way, there are some significant advances in the the approval process of the expansion of the port in North Charleston. The wheels seem to be rolling now...

Article

I believe you can lay credit for our port's turn-around to Jim Newsome, who has really done an amazing job bringing in new clients and retaining existing ones. We were very lucky indeed to have gotten him to come here.

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Incidentally, the downfall was caused by lawyers pretending to act like they know how to run a port. To that end, here is a quote from that same article:

"Groseclose was at the helm of the authority during the protracted controversy over plans to build a $1.2 billion Global Gateway shipping terminal on Daniel Island.

But public opposition resulted in lawmakers directing the authority to build a smaller, $545 million terminal at the old Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston."

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