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First caller for Leatherman

Hapag-Lloyd’s Yorktown Express is the first vessel to call at South Carolina’s new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal.

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First caller for Leatherman

The South Carolina Ports Authority has celebrated the first vessel call at the new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal.


“The Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal is an investment in the future of South Carolina that will spur economic development, create jobs, and further our state’s position as an international business destination for years to come,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “This project is a momentous achievement which highlights the strengths of Team South Carolina. I congratulate the South Carolina Ports Authority and everyone who has worked towards achieving this historic day.”


The Leatherman Terminal is located in North Charleston, S.C., across the Cooper River from the port’s existing Wando Welch terminal. Initial capacity in Phase One is 700,000 TEU, with five ZPMC STS cranes on a 1,400-foot berth and 25 hybrid ZPMC RTGs in the 47-acre container yard. With an outreach of 228 ft and a lift height of 169ft the STS cranes are designed to handle 20,000 TEU vessels. The terminal is managed with the Tideworks TOS.


SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said that the opening of the terminal comes at just the right time, as U.S. container ports continue to handle unprecedented cargo volumes amid strong consumer demand. SC Ports had an all-time cargo record in March, with a 50% year-over-year increase in loaded imports.


“We have invested in the right infrastructure at the right time to handle growing cargo volumes and bigger ships, ensuring SC Ports remains a top 10 U.S. container port. The Leatherman Terminal adds a berth and more capacity to the Port of Charleston when it is most needed on the East Coast. We made history today as we advance SC Ports’ capabilities and enhance South Carolina’s supply chain for generations to come. Tomorrow is here at SC Ports.”


At full buildout, the $2 billion Leatherman Terminal will have three berths and 286 acres, delivering a total capacity of 2.4M TEU. SC Ports still has come challenges to overcome with regard to its plan to develop near-dock rail capabilities with the future Navy Base Intermodal Facility, located about a mile from the Leatherman Terminal, and an inner-harbour barge system to connect Leatherman with Wando Welch. For the moment, however, the port celebrates opening a terminal that represents the culmination of years of planning.


“SC Ports has long been the economic engine of South Carolina, and the opening of the Leatherman Terminal will generate more investments in our communities and high-paying jobs for South Carolinians,” said Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman, the terminal’s namesake. “SC Ports has seen tremendous growth over the past decade as bigger cargo ships continually call on the Port of Charleston. The modern container terminal greatly expands SC Ports’ capacity and capabilities. It gives me immense pride to see the Leatherman Terminal begin operations, the culmination of 20 years of hard work. The Leatherman Terminal, combined with the many strategic infrastructure investments made by the port, will have a positive impact on our state for generations to come.”

The new Leatherman terminal from the landside.jpg
The new Leatherman terminal from the landside.jpg
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