Container volume at the Port of Charleston increased six percent in October, despite broader economic challenges.

In October, the Port of Charleston’s three container facilities handled 146,878 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), an increase of nearly 6% from the same month last year and a gain of more than 16% from the previous month.

“Given the volume trends both here and across the country, it’s somewhat of a pleasant surprise,” said Bernard S. Groseclose, Jr., president and CEO of the SC State Ports Authority (SCSPA), following Tuesday’s Board meeting.  “We certainly wish this were a trend, but based on what our customers are telling us, it’s more likely an aberration.”

Loaded import container volume was up 4% from the same month last year and up 17% from the previous month.  Loaded exports declined slightly, dropping one percent from October 2007 and falling three percent from the previous month.

Breakbulk tons also rallied in October, with 114,359 tons of cargo moved at the SCSPA’s facilities in Charleston and Georgetown. This represents a 47% gain over the same month in 2007.