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South Carolina’s effort to keep at least some of global shipping giant Maersk’s business from leaving the Port of Charleston could be bearing fruit – or not.

As it stands now, Maersk is pulling out of Charleston – which means Charleston is losing its biggest customer.

That stunning revelation sent shock waves through the state’s political establishment last December, prompting the firing of the port’s top executive and a no-holds-barred effort by state leaders to keep at least a few Maersk vessels calling on the Holy City.

At least one offer (and counteroffer) have been exchanged by the parties at this point, and after a false alarm earlier this year, sources familiar with the negotiations tell FITS that the South Carolina pitch will be in front of the Danish company’s Board of Directors this weekend in Copenhagen.

A decision is likely to be made next Monday (May 4), although there is no timetable for that decision being released to the public.

A Maersk spokeswoman told FITS that the company “was in the process” of negotiating with South Carolina, but would not elaborate.

Obviously, we’ll keep everybody in the loop on what we discover.

It’s sad that we’re in this situation, but then again our “total state control” approach to managing our port facilities obviously hasn’t adapted very well to the 21st Century economy.

And trust us, between the Ports Authority, Gov. Mark Sanford and recalcitrant lawmakers, there’s plenty of blame to go around for South Carolina continuing to squander her most competitive asset.