Maritime leaders deliver State of the Port Address

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston port is the single biggest industry in South Carolina.

Maritime leaders from all over gathered Tuesday for the Propeller Club of Charleston's annual State of the Port Address.

Governor Elect Nikki Haley says she is excited about the port's future and has many plans in mind.

"The one shining star is the port here in Charleston so what we need to do is see it as an opportunity and an aggressive opportunity to let everyone know its time to roll up your sleeves and get to work," Haley said.

Haley says, although the state has its work cut out, she is ready to tackle the challenge.

"It's all about economic development whether it's through manufacturing or agriculture however we need to do it we want to make sure the ports are as strong we want everyone to choose our ports over any other ports.

Byron Miller with the South Carolina Ports Authority says the number one priority is to deepen the Charleston Harbor so the port remains competitive.

"The number one thing is taking advantage of the harbor depth and being more aggressive in attracting companies," Miller said.

Although Miller says the port still faces some challenges he says there many positive gains this fiscal year.

"We are up abut 16 percent so far this fiscal year in the last 10 months in a row of increasing volume so that's good news for the thousands of people that go to work to jobs related to the port," Miller said.

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