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  • Wednesday, May 04, 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous


    WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2022


    WHEN:       WENSDAY, MAY 18, 2022

                          BOARDING AT 6:30 PM

                      SAILING *PROMPTLY* AT 7 PM—returning at 9 PM

    WHERE:     Charleston Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside St. Chas., SC

                      (off Concord St., ½ block south of the SC Aquarium)


    We are so pleased that we can once again have our Harbor cruise event.  Because of Covid we have not been able to plan this event since June of 2019.  Get together with your friends, co-workers, customers, spouses, and special guests. Catered by Charleston Classic Catering.   Food and full bar included.

    Cut and mail the bottom reservation form with check by May 9th, or register on line with PayPal/credit card at by May 11th.  Advance payment required. No payments will be taken at event. For questions contact Brian McCall at

    Please mail to:         Propeller Club – Port of Charleston

                                     P.O. Box 147

                                     Charleston, SC  29402

    Detach and Return the Bottom Portion Only with Payment:


    May 18, 2022 Harbor Cruise Reservation Form - Please Print

    Member Name(s)  _____________________________________________________

       ______________________________________________________@$75 = ______

    Guest Name(s)  ______________________________________________________@$75 = ______

          TOTAL ENCLOSED              $ ______

  • Wednesday, May 04, 2022 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    Thank you to Silvia Judy, JAS  & CBFFAC for providing a summary of the April 28th  Nav/Ops meeting.

    Nick Wong, Executive Director, Maritime Association

    Welcome message

    • Harbor Cruise May 2nd, 2022
    • Introduction to guest speaker, Clay Thomas, CBP Port Director Charleston

    Clay Thomas, Port Director South Carolina Customs and Border Protection

    • Bio: Native of South Carolina , Graduate of USC
    • Port Director previously held positions
    • Savannah, GA
    • Shannon and Dublin, Ireland (5 ½ years)
    • Seattle, WA (3 years)

    CBP Mission:

    To protect the American people, safeguard our borders, and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity.

    CBP Vision:

    Enhancing the nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration and trust.

    CBP has  64,272 employees

    -Border security

    -facilitate lawful trade and protect revenue

    -facilitate lawful travel

    Over a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers and returning US citizens into the U.S.

    In numbers:

    491,688 passengers

    159,598 Personal vehicles

    723 inadmissible persons at US ports of entry

    Seize 4732 lbs. of illegal drugs

    $ 342,000 undeclared and illicit currency

    Seize $ 9 Million worth of products for IPR (intellectual Property Rights) violations

    Collect $ 256 Million in Duties, tariffs and fees

    Recent significant seizures (in the last 5 days):

    • 363 kg cocaine in the bottom of a Reefer truck in Pharr, TX
    • Stash house in East El Paso – 12 undocumented migrants of which two where unaccompanied minors
    • Tecate, CA 400 lbs. of Meth / cocaine / Heroin

    2nd largest collector of revenue (IRS is # 1)

    Area of responsibility CBP SC:

    • Charleston
    • Wando Terminal
    • Hugh Leatherman Terminal
    • North Charleston Terminal
    • Columbus Street Terminal
    • Cruise Terminal
    • CHS International Airport
    • GSP Port of Greenville
    • CAE
    • MYR
    • FTZ’s

    A day Charleston at CBP:

    • 1000 Foreign nationals arriving Passengers
    • 3500 Import containers
    • Facilitates $ 172 Mio in the local economic impact
    • Collects $ 750,000 in duties, tariffs and fees

    Assist industry with CT-PAT certification

    Top Imports:

    • Machinery parts             
    • Hardware / lighting
    • Furniture
    • Forest products
    • Vehicles
    • Sporting goods

    For the Brokerage community, when entries are pre-filed and a vessel is on anchorage for an extended period, be sure you communicate with CBP immediately. Normally, entries are not released until the vessel is cleared in ACE.

    No delays are caused by CBP, however if cargo is flagged for exam to be pulled to the CES, with the current truck power / chassis shortage, delays are caused.

    100 % of all containers are scanned – Smith Detection units are slated for refurbishing

    Federal and State agency reports:

    • US Coast Guard – No report
    • US ARMY Corps of Engineers
    • Harbor deepening project – Contract 1,2,3 finished up the Wando Terminal. Contract 4 up to HLT completed. O&M routine checks completed. NOAA doing QC data checks.
    • NOAA
    • North Atlantic right whale population on serious decline in species conservation. 15 calves observed, 50 calves needed for species conservation. Early warning Areal lifted 4/15/2022 for vessel 65 ft and longer. Unfortunately, there are still serious injuries and death caused by vessel collisions.
    • SCDOT
    • Port access Road Project $ 220,770,745.00 – completed Replaced exit 217/218 off I-26 Bainbridge Road – HLT
    • I-26 widening project (6 lanes) $ 51,349,749.00 – between exit 197 – 194 – completion date 6/17/2022
    • I-26 (SC 27) exit 187 2 round abouts heading towards the new Walmart Distribution center – out to bid – Fall 2022
    • Ashley Phosphate – South bound – open graded friction course reached end of life cycle and requires replacement
    • I-95 Project – between MM 33 – 68  $ 70,860,118.00 Completion 8/17/2025
    • Railroad Avenue Project (parallel to Hwy 52) $ 13,382,516.00 completion 10/31/2022
    • Clemens Ferry Road Project (Phase II)
    • I-526 widening project (W. Ashley to Mt. P) 2027-2028
    • Pilotage Commission

                  Pilot Boarding area 3

                  Launch service resumed

    • SC Ports Authority no report
    • Motor carriers – next luncheon May
    • CBFFAC
    • 1ST in person meeting took place at the Hilton Garden Inn, North Charleston on April 14, 2022. Meeting was well attended.
    • Guest speakers from Homeland Security Investigations: Jennifer Roman, Acting Resident Agent in Charge and John Hardin, Acting Group Supervisor
    • See CBFFAC Meeting minutes posted on our website
    • Next Meeting May 12, 2022 11:30 – 1 pm Hilton Garden Inn, North Charleston
    • Charleston Port and Seafarers Society
    • Vaccination clinics available for all seafarers
    • Gangway Goodies! What is needed: Toiletries – non perishable snacks, masks, hand sanitizer, bibles in multiple languages or CASH
    • May 7th, 2022 Waterfront Olympics
    • 2022 Golfcart raffle $ 20.00 a ticket

  • Friday, April 29, 2022 1:54 PM | Anonymous

    Cruise Notice

    The Carnival Sunshine arrives for a turnaround call Saturday, April 30, 2022. Passengers will begin debarkation at approximately 6:00 a.m. and embarkation will begin shortly thereafter. The Sunshine will sail at approximately 4:00 p.m.

    There are no street closures associated with this visit.

    Passengers getting dropped off (taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc.) will need to proceed to the Union Pier main gate, which is located at 32 Washington Street. After driving through the Union Pier Terminal gate, please follow the signs to the designated drop off location. 

    The Sunshine returns for her next turnaround on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

    For detailed, CDC-approved cruise operation protocols for Carnival Cruise Line's embarkation and debarkation in Charleston, please click here.

    Quick Links

    SCPA Embarkation and Debarkation Passenger Instructions

    SCPA 2022 Cruise Calendar

    Carnival Cruise Line Main Page

    Note: South Carolina Ports has worked with SCDHEC and our cruise partners to align with all CDC requirements and protocols. 

    About this E-mail: This "Cruise Notice" is an informational service of the South Carolina Ports Authority to advise neighbors, businesses, merchants and others of cruise ship calls and activities at or around the Passenger Terminal.

  • Friday, April 22, 2022 11:43 AM | Anonymous

    Marine Safety Information Bulletin



    The Atlantic Hurricane Season will begin June 1, 2022 and run through November 30, 2022. During this timeframe, the threat of severe weather is increased and the assigned Port Condition (PORTCON) will remain PORTCON IV. Port Status will remain OPEN for all ports and waterways within the Sector Charleston Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone. These waters are identified in 33 CFR 3.35-15 and lie between the intersection of the North Carolina – South Carolina border and the northern bank of the Savannah River.

    In the event of forecasted tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 34 kts/39 mph or greater) from a tropical cyclone, the Sector Charleston COTP will coordinate with the Heavy Weather Advisory Group (HWAG) to evaluate port preparation and changes in PORTCON.

    The HWAG consists of marine transportation system (MTS) professionals local to the Sector Charleston COTP Zone, providing input on local operations and coordination for overall port well-being in response to severe weather events.

    The COTP will announce changes to PORTCONs via a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) and a Broadcast Notice to Mariners when forecasted tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 34 kts/39 mph or greater) from a tropical cyclone threaten South Carolina. In the event of forecasted severe weather, the below PORTCON timeline will be utilized.

    *New for 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season – Charleston COTP Zone*

    To provide greater flexibility in assessing PORTCONs for the entire geographic region of the Charleston COTP Zone, the Area of Response (AOR) will be divided into the following areas:

    Northern AOR – McClellanville, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Little River

    Charleston AOR – Charleston Harbor

    Southern AOR – Port Royal, Hilton Head, and Beaufort

    To respond with adequate requirements and/or recommendations for MTS users, pending storm severity, the following safety measures will be evaluated:

    PORTCON WHISKEY: Port Status is OPEN. All vessel and port facilities shall exercise due diligence in preparation for potential storm impacts. All oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons are to review plans for departing the port 24 hours prior to the storm’s arrival. Vessels unable to depart within this timeframe must immediately contact Coast Guard Sector Charleston and submit a written safe mooring plan with proof of facility owner/operator approval to for review by the COTP. Submittal does not guarantee COTP acceptance.

    Vessels bound for this port, which are unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall, are advised to seek an alternate destination.

    Slow-moving vessels may be ordered to depart to ensure safe avoidance of the incoming storm upon the anticipation of setting PORTCON X-Ray. The Heavy Weather Advisory Group (HWAG) will make recommendations to the COTP to identify vessels that may need to be diverted to ensure port safety.

    Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Commercial vessel operators authorized by the COTP to remain inside the Charleston COTP Zones, and recreational boat owners, should ensure their vessels are secure at berth and will not pose a hazard to surrounding vessels, the navigable channel, or the environment.

    Mariners are reminded that drawbridges may not operate when sustained wind speeds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.

    Facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plan and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the forecasted conditions. Ports and waterfront facilities shall consider removing all debris and securing potential flying hazards. Container stacking plans should be implemented. Waterfront facilities that are unable to reduce container stacking height to no more than 4 high must submit a container stacking protocol to the COTP.

    PORTCON X-RAY: Port status is OPEN. In addition to safety measures outlined in PORTCON Whiskey, all oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons are to finalize plans for departing the port prior to the storm's arrival. These vessels shall depart immediately upon the setting of PORTCON Yankee. During PORTCON X-Ray, slow-moving vessels may be ordered to depart to ensure safe avoidance of the incoming storm. A COTP Order will be issued to vessels asked to depart early. COTP orders requiring vessel departure will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Vessels unable to depart within this timeframe must immediately contact Coast Guard Sector Charleston and submit a written safe mooring plan with proof of facility owner/operator approval to for review by the COTP. Submittal does not guarantee COTP acceptance.

    Vessels with the COTP's permission to remain in port must implement their pre-approved mooring arrangement.

    All vessels and port facilities shall consider ensuring potential flying debris is removed or secured. Hazardous materials/pollution hazards should be secured in a safe manner and away from waterfront areas. Facilities should continue to implement container stacking protocols. Containers should not exceed 4 tiers, unless previously approved by the COTP. Containers carrying hazardous materials may not be stacked above 2 tiers. Terminal operators should prepare to terminate all cargo operations.

    The COTP may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the ports and waterways.

    Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams may deploy to validate implementation of PORTCON X-Ray.

    PORTCON Yankee: Port Status is OPEN w/RESTRICTIONS. The applicable coastal South Carolina ports of (Little River, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, McClellanville, Charleston, Beaufort, Hilton Head, and/or Port Royal) are open to outbound vessel traffic only. Commercial inbound vessels are restricted from entering the port, and are advised to seek an alternate destination unless expressly authorized by the COTP Charleston or a designated representative.

    In addition to safety measures outlined in PORTCON X-Ray, all oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons currently in port are to make preparations to get underway at this time. Vessels authorized by the COTP to remain in port shall, in accordance with their safe mooring plan, take appropriate precautionary measures to secure their vessels.

    Facilities are to follow their heavy weather plans and consider taking all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for forecasted conditions. Such precautions include: appropriate container stacking protocols, moving cargo within or off the port for securing purposes, crane and other port/facility equipment preparations, and/or termination of cargo operations not associated with storm preparations. All facilities shall continue to operate in accordance with approved Facility Security Plans and comply with the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA).

    Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams may conduct PORTCON Yankee validation.

    PORTCON Zulu: Port Status is CLOSED. All port waterfront operations and vessel movements are suspended except final preparations previously approved by the COTP in which are necessary to ensure the safety of the port and facilities.

    Commercial vessel operators and owners of recreational boats remaining in port are responsible for ensuring their vessels are secured at berth and will not pose a hazard to surrounding vessels, the navigable channel, or the environment.

    Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams may conduct final port assessments.

    PORTCON Recovery: Port Status is CLOSED or OPEN w/RESTRICTIONS. Threatening winds (34 kts/39 mph) are no longer a threat to the area; however, damage may have occurred and response/recovery operations are in progress.

    If damage has occurred and has compromised the safe navigation of vessel movements, the Port Status is CLOSED. All port waterfront operations and vessel movements are suspended to ensure the safety of the port and facilities.

    PORTCON IV: Port status is OPEN. All related restrictions are lifted.

    Due to potential effects throughout coastal South Carolina, mariners are urged to transit with caution considering the possibility of Aids to Navigation discrepancies or other hazards to navigation. If discovered, please report any of these issues to the United States Coast Guard Sector Charleston’s Command Center.

    For HWAG or waterway specific questions, please contact (843) 323-7761. For facility and foreign vessel specific questions, please contact (843) 740-3186. For domestic vessel specific questions, please contact (843) 754-2076. For Coast Guard related emergencies, please contact Sector Charleston Command Center at (843) 740-7050.

    This MSIB can be viewed at

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous


    For Immediate Release

    April 13, 2022

    Autonomous vehicle company Argo AI establishing operations in Greenville County

    $2.6 million investment expected to create 40 new jobs

    COLUMBIA, S.C. Argo AI (Argo), a global autonomy products and services company, will establish a test facility in Greenville County. The company’s $2.6 million investment is expected to create 40 new jobs.

    Founded in 2016, Argo develops self-driving technology products and services to help make the world’s streets and roadways safe, accessible and useful for all. With operations across the United States and Europe, Argo works with leading automakers to integrate its Autonomy Platform into vehicles to operate autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery services that benefit communities around the world. 

    Argo will establish a closed-course track in the SC Technology and Aviation Center for development and testing of its self-driving vehicle technology. The Greenville County track will be Argo’s third closed-course facility in addition to locations in western Pennsylvania and Munich, Germany. It will be dedicated to highway-speed testing as the company advances toward commercial autonomous operations across multiple cities. 

    Operations are expected to begin later this year. Individuals interested in joining the Argo team should visit the company’s careers page.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.


    “As Argo AI advances toward commercial operations across the U.S. and Germany, we are developing the Argo Autonomy Platform for safe operations in cities, suburbs and the highways that connect them. We look forward to bringing our highway-speed closed-course testing to Greenville County.” -Argo AI President and Co-Founder Peter Rander


    “Argo AI’s new operation in Greenville County further proves what so many already know – South Carolina is a top destination for companies in the automotive industry. Our robust automotive industry continues to thrive, and that means our pro-business strategy is paying dividends.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

    “Automation is the future in the automotive industry, and companies like Argo AI are trailblazers in their field. We are excited to welcome a cutting-edge company like Argo AI to South Carolina, and we know they’ll do great things here and beyond.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III


    “We celebrate any time a company selects Greenville County to expand into, and certainly welcome a leading-edge technology organization like Argo AI to our community. We wish them continued success as they grow their customer base across North America.” -Greenville County Council Chair and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member Willis Meadows




    ·    Argo AI (Argo) is establishing operations in Greenville County.

    ·    $2.6 million investment expected to create 40 new jobs.

    ·    Argo is a global autonomy company developing self-driving technology for ridesharing and goods delivery services.  

    ·    Individuals interested in joining the Argo team should visit the company’s careers page.

    About S.C. Department of Commerce

    As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit

    About Argo AI

    Argo AI is a global autonomy products and services company headquartered in Pittsburgh, with engineering centers located in Detroit, Cranbury, NJ, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Munich, Germany. Since 2016, the company has been on a mission to make the world’s streets and roadways safe, accessible, and useful for all. With a team of more than 1,800 people across the U.S. and Europe, Argo designs its Argo Autonomy Platform and Solutions to support autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery at scale to benefit communities around the world. For more information regarding Argo, please visit


    Alex Clark, CMP

    Director of Marketing & Communications

    South Carolina Department of Commerce

    (803) 737-1998


    Catherine Johnsmeyer

    Communications Manager

    Argo AI


  • Wednesday, April 13, 2022 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    CHARLESTON, SC — APRIL 12, 2022 — South Carolina Ports reported an all-time container record in March, marking the 13th consecutive month of cargo records at the Port of Charleston.


    “As we continue to handle record volumes on our terminals, SC Ports is working alongside our maritime community and logistics partners to navigate the many challenges felt across the entire supply chain,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “We are responding to customers’ needs as we make progress on reducing the backlog.”


    Strong U.S. consumer appetite for retail goods continues to drive record cargo levels, with imports up 16% year-over-year in March.


    SC Ports handled 264,334 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in March, up 6% from last year. SC Ports has moved 2.14 million TEUs thus far in fiscal year 2022, from July through March, up 15% fiscal year-over-year.


    SC Ports handled 145,415 pier containers — which accounts for containers of any size — in March, up 5% from last year. Thus far in fiscal year 2022, SC Ports has moved 1.19 million pier containers, up nearly 15% from the same period the year prior.


    SC Ports is responding to the record volumes and ongoing supply chain challenges in real-time with a variety of efforts, such as providing Sunday hours for motor carriers and selective term leasing of the port’s new chassis.


    Strategic investments are also key. SC Ports has hired more than 150 people in operations and invested more than $2 billion into port infrastructure. The new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal adds a much-needed berth to the East Coast port market.


    At a time when the supply chain is seeing unprecedented cargo volumes, Leatherman Terminal’s capacity is not being fully utilized by USMX member ocean carriers, pending resolution of the ongoing case in front of the NLRB.


    “We will continue investing in strategic port infrastructure and deploying creative solutions to ensure fluidity for our customers,” Newsome said. “We are very grateful to our dedicated SC Ports team and the entire maritime and logistics community. Thank you to the men and women working so hard to keep freight moving for the Southeast supply chain.”


    SC Ports also handled 21,809 vehicles at Columbus Street Terminal and recorded 17,413 rail moves at Inland Ports Greer and Dillon in March.


    SC Ports reported 18,409 cruise passengers in March, which is the highest month thus far in this fiscal year. Cruise operations resumed in late December after a nearly two-year hiatus.

  • Friday, April 08, 2022 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    COLUMBIA — The State Ports Authority said planned delays in construction of a rail yard serving its container terminals will drive up costs, but the projected increase was not disclosed publicly during a March 24 meeting.

    Barbara Melvin, chief operations officer for the agency, told the Joint Bond Review Committee that construction of the Navy Base Intermodal Facility in North Charleston won’t begin until after legislators approve all of the money needed to complete the project. That likely won’t be until July, when the new fiscal year budget begins.

    Read full article here:

  • Friday, April 08, 2022 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    Area Port Director – Zachary “Clay” Thomas

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Office of Field Operations

    Charleston, South Carolina

    Mr. Zachary (Clay) Thomas has served as the Area Port Director Charleston, South Carolina, Atlanta Field Office since November, 2021. In this role, Mr. Thomas oversees more than 100 employees across the State of South Carolina.  

    As the Area Port Director of Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Thomas is charged with overseeing six ports of entry to include three major seaport operations, cruise terminal and an international airport.

    With over 17 years of law enforcement experience with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Mr. Thomas has held a variety of leadership positions within CBP such as Area Port Director in Seattle, Washington, Dublin Area Port Director and Shannon Port Director, Preclearance Field Office, and Supervisory CBP Officer 2nd Line, Port of Savannah, Atlanta Field Office.

    Mr. Thomas played an instrumental role in amending the current agreement between the United States and the Government of Ireland on Air Transport Preclearance.  The amended agreement consists of new provisions which include cost recovery, medical assistance, and compliance agreements for downstream sales.  The negotiations also included agreements on a non-binding Memorandum of Consultations (MOC) that addressed a number of CBP related concerns pertaining to restraint devices, consent to search, the preclearance facility, and Irish law enforcement presence. 

    Mr. Thomas attended the University of South Carolina where he studied business and criminal justice. Mr. Thomas is married and has two children. 

    Register here:

  • Friday, March 18, 2022 8:34 AM | Nick Wong (Administrator)


    Cooper River and Town Creek Reach, Charleston, SC

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary security zone on certain waters of the Cooper River and Town Creek Reaches, near the Arthur Ravenel Bridge during the Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m

    Please review link for full details: MSIB 1-22 Security Zone - Cooper River Bridge Run.pdf

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