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Port of Charleston Remains Strong Amidst Headwinds

JP Price • 10/28/2022
As of mid-year 2022, twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) totaled 1.56 million at the Port of Charleston, an increase of 17.4% in activity compared to mid-year 2021. The Port of Charleston remains the eighth highest port for market share at 5.7%. As some Asian imports were redirected away from West Coast ports, import volumes picked up some of the slack, with large increases at the Ports of Houston (+29.4%), Charleston (+21.2%), and NY/NJ (+12.4%). 

Over the last few years, the top 10 maritime ports have accounted for approximately 85% of the total TEU volume handled throughout the U.S., which equates to some 27.2 million TEUs through the first six months of the year, a 5.2% increase year-over-year.  

As increased port activity has persisted at most of the nation’s maritime ports, industrial demand has unsurprisingly followed suit. Port industrial markets have proven to be some of the strongest in the nation as they feed some of the country’s most populous metropolitan areas. The industrial markets surrounding the top 10 U.S. ports encompass over 4.0 billion square feet of space, representing about 25% of the national total.  

With an inventory of 81.9 million square feet (msf), Charleston boasts a 1.7% vacancy rate with 5.08 msf absorbed as of Mid-September. Only five of the major port industrial markets (Inland Empire, Charleston, Savannah, Hampton Roads, and Seattle) yielded more than 4.0 msf of absorption year-to-date, with just Savannah and Charleston seeing the totals account for over 5.0% of the inventory. 

Since the start of 2022, industrial markets around ports have totaled 37.4 msf of new deliveries, accounting for just 1.0% of inventory and 19.3% of the U.S. total. Charleston currently has 7.4 msf of industrial space under construction.   

For more, click here to read our North American Ports Report. 
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