SC Ports CEO delivers State of the Port Address, announces retirement

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:35 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The head of the South Carolina Ports Authority delivered what he called his 13th and final State of the Port address Monday afternoon.

SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome announced he plans to retire from his position at the end of June 2022, extending his current contract which was set to end this December.

He said the port’s board named Barbara Melvin, who currently serves as the ports’ chief operating officer to be the Ports Authority’s next leader effective July 1.

He said he would be an executive advisor for one year after his retirement.

“While the global supply chain remains under tremendous pressure, SC Ports has strategically invested to ensure efficient operations, providing retailers with the capacity and fluidity they need, particularly as we head into peak season,” Newsome said.

SC Ports moved 205,008 twenty-foot equivalent units at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in September, setting a record for the month. This is a 5% increase year-over-year.

Fiscal-year-to-date, SC Ports has handled 684,517 TEUs at its container terminals, up nearly 18% from the same time a year ago.

“Capacity is the new port currency, and SC Ports has the right capacity at the right time to meet retailers’ and companies’ needs,” Newsome said. “We have built the best infrastructure in the U.S. port industry.”

SC Ports is the only port in the country with new terminal capacity, Newsome said, adding that the $1 billion Phase One of Leatherman Terminal opened in March, adding a berth and 700,000 TEUs of capacity to the East Coast port market, ensuring speed-to-market for customers.

“Companies with global supply chains want to locate near well-run ports. Port growth creates jobs and investments,” Newsome said. “SC Ports generates a $63.4B annual economic impact and creates 1 in 10 jobs in South Carolina.”

Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed this week as South Carolina Ports Week throughout the state.

“I encourage all South Carolinians “to recognize our maritime community for its successful endeavors in international maritime trade and the impact it makes on our great state,” McMaster said.

McMaster made the proclamation just before Newsome’s State of the Port Address.

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