Records Broken at the Port of Charleston
Not only has the Port of Charleston just experienced two record-breaking months in terms of cargo volume handled, but last Friday it welcomed Marco Polo, the record-breaking container ship. Record cargo volumes were achieved in April across many categories and business segments, including containers, vehicles, loaded imports and exports. This was due to continued economic recovery, strong business and population growth across the Southeast, strong manufacturing and automotive sectors in the state and nearby, and improved port capacity due to over $2 billion in recent investment in enhancements, expansions and harbor deepening. Last Friday, the Marco Polo, one of the largest container ships to call on the east coast of the US and the largest mega container ship to call on SC ports to-date, arrived at Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant. The ship has an impressive overall length of 1,300 feet and a container capacity of over 16,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Read more here and here.
Advanced Education Expands in the Lowcountry
Two separate announcements relating to new opportunities for advanced learning in the Charleston area were made recently. The Charleston Digital Corridor announced the consolidation of its tech-focused educational offerings into its newly created Charleston Digital Corridor University (CDCu), located at the Flagship at the Charleston Tech Center. It will offer business seminars, technical workshops and expert talks that focus on topics relating to business, technology and entrepreneurship. The courses will be tailored to serve small businesses and professionals in the Charleston area. In-person classes are scheduled to commence in mid-June, with scholarships available to those in need. Trident Technical College will also be opening its new Dorchester Campus - its fifth campus to-date - on Dorchester Road in Summerville on June 1st. As a full-service campus, it will include over 27,000 square feet of classroom, lab, office and flex-use space and a large student lounge/study area. Read more here and here.
Charleston Welcomes a New Airline Service on Its Inaugural Flight
Breeze Airways is a new low-cost airline founded by JetBlue founder and former CEO Dave Neeleman and Charleston was its first arrival city when it flew its inaugural flight from Tampa, Florida to Charleston International Airport on May 27th. Breeze will focus on point-to-point routes between smaller cities in the eastern US. Initially, the airline will offer direct flights ex-Charleston to 11 cities, seven of which are new to Charleston. First are Tampa FL, Hartford CT and Louisville KY, with service to the remaining cities of Norfolk VA, Akron/Canton OH, New Orleans LA, Pittsburgh PA, Columbus OH, Richmond VA, Huntsville AL and Providence RI added incrementally by the end of July. Breeze will start with single-class Embraer aircraft this summer and gradually grow its fleet to include new Airbus A222 aircraft. The airline expects to cater to both leisure and business travelers. Read more here and here.
Best East Coast Beach & New Beach Parking Law Passed
Kudos to Folly Beach for being named "Best Beach on the East Coast" by PureWow! Folly's 1,000-foot-long pier, originally built in 1931, is under reconstruction, but the wide beach with its soft, clean sand is still open and surf lessons are still on offer. Myrtle Beach (14th) and Coligny Beach Park (16th) on Hilton Head Island also made that Top 20 list. Sullivan's Island was 11th on its list of Best Beach Towns In America, while Daufuskie Island made 17th on that list. Given the growing popularity of our area beaches and last summer's response by some beach towns to restrict access to day visitors citing Covid-related safety concerns and traffic congestion, Governor McMaster in late May signed a law that protects free beach parking in SC. He explained that it clarifies an existing law that free beach parking along state roads cannot be removed or changed to paid parking without prior approval from the State's DOT. In related news, CARTA will run a free beach shuttle on weekends from Mount Pleasant to the Isle of Palms through the summer. Read more here, here, here and here.