Port of Charleston leaders to report Panama Canal findings

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Port and business leaders who recently traveled to the Panama Canal will report their findings at an important meeting for the Port of Charleston Monday.

The delegation from South Carolina recently went to Panama and officials who made the trip share what they found Monday at a forum sponsored by The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The canal widening will mean bigger cargo ships passing through the canal and is expected to bring changes in international trade. The $5 billion dollar Panama Canal widening project is expected to bring more money to the Charleston port.

The council says expansion of the canal will bring bigger cargo ships and a change in international trade patterns that will affect Charleston. It should be completed in four more years.

Some state officials, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, have said now is the time to start thinking ahead to ensure the future of Charleston's ports.

"You gotta start this year," Graham said.

Graham says if Charleston doesn't receive the funding this year, it will put the port at a disadvantage. and place thousands of jobs at risk.

Mary Graham of the chamber and Jim Newsome, the president and CEO of the State Ports Authority, speak at the meeting.

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