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SC Ports harbor deepens, allows for larger boxships

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) efficiently handled a container ship at the deepest draft to-date, reinforcing the importance of Charleston Harbor’s new 52-foot depth.

MSC Rayshmi set a record for the deepest draft at SC Ports, arriving at 48 feet and 11 inches of draft. Five cranes, standing 155 feet above the wharf deck, worked the vessel at Wando Welch Terminal with crane operators moving 2,758 containers on and off the ship.

“SC Ports can efficiently handle fully loaded mega container ships at any tide thanks to our strategic investments in port operations, the talent of our maritime community and the success of the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said SC Ports president and CEO Barbara Melvin.

With four of the five deepening contracts already completed, Charleston now has a 52-foot depth leading up to its two biggest container terminals — Wando Welch Terminal and Leatherman Terminal. SC Ports noted the 52-foot depth removes tidal restrictions for fully laden, post-Panamax vessels.

The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project will wrap this fall and the remaining contract will yield a 48-foot depth to North Charleston Terminal.

SC Ports said it continues to invest in port infrastructure to support port-dependent businesses throughout South Carolina.

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