By Matt Tomsic
Published Feb. 19, 2013
The S.C. State Ports Authority reported year-over-year increases in revenues and earnings today, but the first seven months of the fiscal year haven’t met expectations.
Revenues were $79 million, up 4.9% year-over-year but down 6.6% compared to plan. Meanwhile, operating earnings were $7.5 million compared with $6.7 million during the same period last year. Earnings were down 29.8% compared to plan.
The port handled about 509,000 pier containers and nearly 700,000 pier tons in Charleston, both figures up year-over-year. Pier tons are ahead of plan by 28.2%, while pier containers are 2.3% below plan.
In January, the port handled 69,000 pier containers, a 7% increase compared with January 2012.
Ports CEO Jim Newsome said the port saw a stronger December and weaker January because of the potential work stoppage along East and Gulf coast ports. The labor contract between dockworkers and ocean carriers expired last year but had been extended twice as negotiators tried to reach an agreement on a new contract. They reached a tentative agreement in February, and the contract is pending the approval of the union.
“We said at the last meeting that January would be a bit on the dubious side because of the work stoppage at the end of December,” Newsome said.
Newsome also noted the port’s performance during calendar year 2012. A market comparison for Canada and U.S. ports found that port volume grew by 2% during 2012.
“We were up 10%,” Newsome said.