Charleston and Georgetown

Popular Shipping Ports in South Carolina

If you need to ship containers anywhere in South Carolina, chances are they’ll be shipped from one of two ports: the seaport of Charleston or the seaport of Georgetown. Each has its own benefits and handles its own traffic, although Georgetown has been severely declining in use over the years. They’re a little over an hour away from each other, or about 60 miles.

Here we’ll go into some detail on each port and how we can serve your shipping container needs throughout South Carolina.

Port of Charleston

Featuring five public terminals, this port’s facilities cover three municipalities, with capacity to handle containers, rolling stock, non-containerized goods, cargo and motor vehicles, along with all of Charleston’s cruise ship operations. All terminals are operated and owned by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SPCA).

There are other facilities contained within the port that are privately owned and operated, and they handle primarily bulk commodities such as petroleum, coal and steel.

In 2017, the Port of Charleston was ranked eighth in the United States by cargo value, with almost $70 billion in imports and exports traded across all docks. It hosts shipping services by more than 13 of the world’s top container carriers. In 2018, the Port of Charleston handled 2.2 million 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and set a record for container volume.

The SPCA announced plans to invest $1.3 billion in new and existing facilities over the next decade, including a new container terminal in North Charleston on the former Navy Base, improvements to existing facilities, and technology upgrades, as well as two inland ports. Did you know the Port of Charleston has the deepest water in the southeast region? It handles post-Panamax vessels that pass through the newly-expanded Panama Canal. Currently, a harbor deepening project is going on to increase the entrance channel to 54 feet and harbor channel to 52 feet at low tide, and 60 feet and 58 feet at high tide.

Port of Georgetown

Located 60 miles north of Charleston, the Port of Georgetown is the state’s dedicated breakbulk and bulk cargo port. It features an expanded berth, plenty of open and covered storage, and specialty cargo handling facilities. Top commodities for this port include steel, cement, aggregates, and forest products. It sits along the Sampit River adjacent to the Georgetown Steel Mill.

The Port of Georgetown is not nearly as popular or as used as the Port of Charleston. In fact, its use has been declining in recent years and reuse plans are underway for the future.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

To learn more about our shipping containers and our South Carolina location, contact us in our South Carolina office at 864-445-8417, located at 898 Greenwood Hwy in Saluda, SC. You can also email us at


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