The Port of Charleston started a multi-year project to deepen the inner harbor to 52 feet during low tide. After its completion planned for 2020 the 52 feet deep inner harbor and the 54 feet outer channel will be the deepest on the East Coast, allowing post-Panamax vessels with 10,000-15,000 TEU capacity to transit in and out of the port faster than today.
Additionally the port moved two post-Panamax cranes to Wando Welch Terminal, which will eventually have 9 cranes with the capability of lifting containers 155 feet above deck. An additional 4 cranes will be raised from 115 to 155 feet.
Charleston’s loaded container volume rose 7 percent to nearly 1.73 million TEU last year.
The Port of Savannah’s deepening project is scheduled to be completed in January 2020, bringing the depth of the inner harbor to 47 feet and the outer harbor to 49 feet during low tides.
Other ports eying deepening projects are the Port of Virginia (from 50 to 55 feet), the Port of Jacksonville, FL (to 47 feet) and Port Everglades, FL (to 48 feet).
The ports in Miami, New York-New Jersey, and Baltimore already are at 50 feet depth.