Refrigerated containers at Port of Charleston
A new service area represents a $14 million investment. (photo: South Carolina Port Authority)
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Trade in fresh and frozen meat and poultry products for export is driving growth in cold chain business at the Port of Charleston, where a new refrigerated container service area opened, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) reported.

The new service area covers six acres at the Wando Welch Terminal. It features a 12-lane service canopy, on-site storing and a staging for container washing stations and other activities. Additionally, the Port has four new five-story refrigerated container racks that provide 120 reefer slots on terminal, while an additional four racks of the same size are under construction.

The SCPA website states that 55 percent of goods moving through the port are imports, while 45 percent of the goods are exports — 3 percent of which represents fresh and frozen meat products, and another 3 percent is mostly fresh and frozen poultry. The proximity of producers of meat and poultry exports, access to a deep-water harbor and other factors have driven growth in loaded refrigerated cargo volumes by 86 percent since 2011.

“Expansion of refrigerated cargo is a strong driver of SCPA’s overall volume growth, and our capital investment in refrigerated cargo infrastructure reflects a strategic commitment to our cold chain customers,” Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to capably serving the continued growth of this business segment.”