SC Ports In A Storm

Two months ago we did a post highlighting record port growth in Georgia – a state which recently received a gift-wrapped competitive advantage courtesy of establishment “Republican” governor Nikki Haley. The only problem?  Haley is governor of South Carolina, not Georgia. Oops … While Georgia soars, South Carolina is struggling ……

Two months ago we did a post highlighting record port growth in Georgia – a state which recently received a gift-wrapped competitive advantage courtesy of establishment “Republican” governor Nikki Haley.

The only problem?  Haley is governor of South Carolina, not Georgia.

Oops …

While Georgia soars, South Carolina is struggling … hard.  In fact it’s gotten so bad mainstream media outlets in the Palmetto State are starting to pick up our narrative of the port’s precarious positioning – including some of the questionable expenses and dubious long-term plans we’ve brought to light in the past.

Take this report from David Wren of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, an outlet that has historically served as a cheerleader for the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA).  In fact as recently as five months ago Wren was “writing only glossy propaganda about the port,” one insider told us.

“Seven consecutive months of declining cargo volumes at the State Ports Authority have some members of that agency’s board questioning whether it’s time to take a magnifying glass to the budget,” Wren wrote, referencing concerns raised by SCSPA board member Rick Stanley.

“Among the items under scrutiny is the SPA’s spending on outside contractors to do legal, political lobbying and public relations work,” he added.

Of course if hard times continue, those politically-connected accounts are unlikely to be touched …

Port leader Jim Newsome told Wren a downturn would instead result in a hiring freeze, along with “early retirements” and delays in filling vacancies.  In other words regular people will get hung out to dry, not those with access to power.

Sheesh …

Still, Newsome claimed budget cuts won’t be necessary because he doesn’t expect the downturn to continue.

“I think we’ll see a trend back up in the next couple of months,” Newsome told Wren. “And, hopefully, March will be significantly stronger.”

Really?  Certainly we hope Newsome is correct … but that’s an exceedingly rosy outlook given the performance of other economic indicators.

Also, the bottom line remains: Ever since Haley stabbed South Carolina in the back via her infamous “Savannah River Sellout,” it’s been all good news for Georgia’s ports and all bad news for ours.

Of course she got what she needed out of it so … our guess is her focus will probably remain elsewhere for the foreseeable future.


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Flip February 22, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I’d say electing Haley set us back 8 years but most likely her replacement will add another 8 to it. Good job voters.

At least Haley moved us forward when she took that flag down.

dwb619 February 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

I remember when NIMRATA made the infamous statement in Greenville to the Manufacture Association, UNION companies are not welcome in South Carolina. I thought,”Gee, kinda stupid to discourage investment.
Later found out from a well placed source in Greenville, Cadillac had been sniffing around the I-85 corridor for a new assembly plant.

ELCID February 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm

The Savannah’s Ports Chief is retiring, and SC Ports should make him a hiring offer he can not refuse!

Curtis Foltz is retiring from his vastly successful run as Savannah Ports Chief.
SC Ports should immediately start courting him to turn around SC Ports the way he did Savannah Ports. Foltz is a genius at running ports with massive past experience with many of the world’s largest container ship carriers. Getting him at SC Ports would be a fantastic deal for SC Ports and SC Citizens.

Note: all container ship business is way down due to the worldwide recession/depression. Container ships are being mothballed, and new ones from Korea, or anywhere else, are not being built. So, SC Ports problems appear to be a worldwide problem. Not just a local one.

The Colonel (R) February 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Savannah 2015 – 391,356 TEUs

Charleston 2015 – 1,120,000 TEUs

I really don’t think there’s a lot to be all worked up over. If we’d just fix the damn roads up to 95 we could probably put Savannah out of business. Charleston is a lot easier port to enter exit and the facilities are generally better.

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maximal culpa! Boy dud I screw this one up. The numbers I originally reported fit Savannah are actually the year end increase over 2014. Savannah actually handled 3.7 million TEUs for 2015. My apologies for getting it wrong. Doesn’t change the need to beef up the infrastructure in and out of Charleston and it shouldn’t be used as some dimwitted justification for the “Port of Jasper”.

As for growth, Charleston grew at 16%, Savannah grew at 33%. Let’s do a little math: 16 percent of 1,200,000 equals 192,000.
33% of 391,000 equals 129,000, oops, Charleston wins again…

Manray9 February 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Ah, Colonel…the facts. Sic rarely lets them interfere with a indignant screed.

The Colonel (R) February 22, 2016 at 6:24 pm

He apparently struggles with “M” words like math, military, man child (TRav)…

Manray9 February 22, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Why would any thoughtful person purposely associate themselves with T-Rav? I think I know the answer…$$$$$

CNSYD February 22, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Math has never been Folks’ strong suit. But then, does he have a strong suit?

Darlene Garcia February 23, 2016 at 4:42 am

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Thomas February 24, 2016 at 1:09 pm

When did you receive your commission? Just curious.

The Savannah stat you posted was Savannah’s increase of 391,356 TEU’s in 2015, not their total. In fact, the article you linked to stated they inked an all-time high 3.73 million TEU’s in 2015 and will add eight new ship-to-shore cranes by 2018, for a total of 30. SC inked a total of 1,200,000 TEU’s in 2015. Sir

The Colonel (R) February 24, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Oops, you are correct I clearly misread the article I’ll have to go back and correct what I wrote. As for your other question, 1987.

Thomas February 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm

1987…you not only saw it all, you also rubbed elbows with some outstanding ‘Nam officers.

The Colonel (R) February 24, 2016 at 4:23 pm

I enlisted in 1983, many of the Nam era soldiers (both officer and enlisted) I worked with were the burnouts who couldn’t find anything else to do. There were more than a few who were on the other end of the spectrum though and they made up for the losers.

Bible Thumper February 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Just like North Carolina goods are imported and exported through Charleston, some of SC imports and exports pass through Savannah. Fits has reported a SC tire manufacturer uses Savannah (because it’s closer).

What is good for Savannah may not always be good for Charleston, but it is good for South Carolina.

relieved February 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Good let coastal Georgia deal with all the jackleg truck drivers clogging 1-26 and 526. Good riddance i say

stumpknocker February 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

hell while we are at it, lets get rid of boeing, michelin, and bmw too, then we won’t have to spend any money on fixing up our roads, we all just get 4 wheelers ride around drinking beer and have hate Obama parties.

relieved February 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm

your’e a fucking idiot .

BubbaLama February 23, 2016 at 7:33 am

For God’s sake Stumpo! Clean up your tent or go back to Toledo.

Bye Bye Haley February 22, 2016 at 6:25 pm

State Ports involved with illegal bid rigging with construction contracts. A good investigative reporter could easily crack this one :D

Soft Sigh from Hell February 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Tony Bartelme at the P&C would be the one for that.

Bible Thumper February 23, 2016 at 12:28 am

Fitsnews does even need any stinking investigation. Just make the allegation. Preferably, let anonymous people make the accusations and fits can “unbiasedly” report what he has heard.

Didn’t you read about Rubio’s mistresses and gay lifestyle? That’s real reporting. Investigative reporting could backfire. What if it is found that there is no wrong doing? That would be a real bummer.

fed up Republican February 23, 2016 at 8:15 am

It is all about Haley, the “establishment Republican” and her desires for a Washington gig!
maybe she can start a Washington escort service, does not appear Michael would care.
Cannot wait for her to be gone; hopefully, back to India.


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