Charleston Harbor is now the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.
At 52 feet, the biggest ships calling the East Coast can access South Carolina Ports’ terminals any time, any tide. Ships filled with record imports and heavy exports can seamlessly sail through Charleston Harbor to SC Ports’ terminals.
This depth makes SC Ports more competitive, helping to attract new ship services, first-in-calls and more cargo to South Carolina.
Deepening work began in 2018, thanks to $300 million the state set aside in 2012, followed by several infusions of federal funding. In 2019, Congress appropriated $138 million for the project, funding it to completion.
Deepening began in the entrance channel and continued through the harbor up to SC Ports’ three container terminals.
The entrance channel was deepened to 54 feet to seamlessly handle vessels coming and going to SC Ports. A 52-foot depth was achieved in Charleston Harbor up to both Wando Welch Terminal and Leatherman Terminal, and a 48-foot depth was achieved between Leatherman Terminal and North Charleston Terminal.
Turning basins were also widened in front of Wando Welch Terminal and Leatherman Terminal, enabling ships to easily pass one another and turn around without restrictions.
With the deepening project complete, SC Ports can handle the record cargo volumes and mega container ships calling on the Port of Charleston today and in the future.
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