Reefer container service area opens at port in SC

Reefer container service area opens at port in SC

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has opened a new refrigerated container service area in the Port of Charleston, marking a $14 million investment to support growing cold chain business in the Southeast.

A new six-acre refrigerated container service area at the Wando Welch Terminal features a 12-lane service canopy, on-site storage and staging for gen-sets, and container washing stations. The area greatly enhances reefer processing for shippers, truckers and ocean carriers.

The port has four new five-story refrigerated container racks that provide 120 more reefer slots on terminal, bringing the port-wide total to 1,700 plugs. Four additional racks of the same size are under construction, slated for completion in January 2018.

SCPA’s loaded refrigerated cargo volumes have grown 86% since 2011, driven by proximity to export pork and poultry producers; access to a deepwater harbor, which allows ocean carriers to load ships heavy with frozen exports; and growing regional demand for import reefer commodities.

“Expansion of refrigerated cargo is a strong driver of SCPA’s overall volume growth, and our capital investment in refrigerated cargo infrastructure reflects a strategic commitment to our cold chain customers,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “We look forward to capably serving the continued growth of this business segment.”

Complementing SCPA’s on-terminal investments are more than 660,000 square feet of cold storage and blast freezing capacity that have been built or committed by the private sector in response to SCPA’s cold cargo growth. Local cold storage providers include Agro Merchants Group, Lineage Logistics and New Orleans Cold Storage.

Established by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1942, SCPA owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer. In 2015, SCPA handled international commerce valued at more than $74 billion while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion in annual economic activity.

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