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Posted November 05, 2021

 

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Amid a crisis in the American supply chain, the Port of Charleston is proving to be a strong link that is helping to keep the goods flowing. However, that success is not without challenges.

South Carolina Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome said the import supply chain is like a traffic jam on the highway today. The problems are layered, and not confined to any specific part of the country. COVID is the primary cause.

“We bought a record number of goods because we couldn’t buy services,” said Newsome. “People were on Zoom, they were buying couches because they couldn’t go to the movies or a football game.”

A record amount of imports from Asia are now testing and exposing those weak links in our ability to get the couches we bought, into our living rooms.

However, we’re not seeing scores of ships anchored at sea, waiting to get into the port to be serviced. In places like Los Angeles and Long Beach, there are nearly 100 ships waiting. Even Savannah is experiencing delays, but to a lesser extent. Meanwhile, it’s all ahead forward in Charleston and Newsome says it is because of investment in their infrastructure, including the opening of the Hugh Leatherman Terminal (HLT), and the completion of other projects just in time.

“We invested $2 billion over six years to get where we are today and that’s a big lift for the port, we had a lot of help from the state so we built the infrastructure; that’s served us well and it will serve us well into the next decade,” said Newsome.

 

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