Brrr . . . It’s starting to get chilly in Charleston

imageIf you soon start feeling a blast of cold air blowing through Charleston, it’s probably a result of the expansion of the refrigerated cargo business in the area. Three firms (Agro Merchants, Lineage Logistics, and New Orleans Cold Storage) have invested in or are expanding their cold storage capabilities to meet the increasing worldwide demands for more protein. As standards of living rise around the globe, people demand better quality food and refrigeration is a key component.

Refrigerated warehouse space is limited in the Charleston region and efforts are underway to increase the capacity. The State Ports Authority (SPA) has been very proactive in bolstering the cold storage market share in this ultra-competitive business.
Investments to upgrade the infrastructure at the cargo terminals have been underway for years and chilled warehouse space is essential to this pursuit. The Savannah and Port Everglades, FL ports now dominate the Southeast refrigerated cargo market, however SPA officials are intent on boosting its export/import handling of containers.

One distinction the Charleston port has over Savannah is a 5 foot draft advantage due to its deeper harbor. This is especially advantageous as refrigerated containers are traditionally heavier than other containers and they require a deepwater port such as Charleston which is able to accommodate ships with a 48 foot draft. With the upcoming widening of the Panama Canal allowing jumbo “Panamax” ships passage to Charleston, the opportunity to expand cold storage is imminent.

With the heat index hovering around 110 degrees lately, the gusts of frigid air cannot come too soon!

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A fun getaway — to Charleston!

imageWe say we should do it more often and we rarely do. But finally last weekend Steve and I celebrated our anniversary by staying downtown for two whole nights! It was truly fun to stay downtown and explore Charleston like a tourist. Of course, I didn’t really expect to see our names in lights at the Riviera Theater marquee on King St. so maybe it wasn’t exactly your normal tourist experience.

Nevertheless, we walked the Battery, went to the farmers market, dined at Halls and Zero George, schmoozed at the Cocktail Club, saw a hilarious production at Pure Theater — we really just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. It really does give you a different perspective and a sense of what a special town Charleston is. I think our favorite aspect were the pedi-cabs. It’s such a fun and interesting way to get around town and our drivers were great. We just left our car in the parking lot and called for a pedi-cab when we needed one.

Coming back to Daniel Island on Sunday we committed to playing “tourist in your own town” more often and yes, we also committed to each other. However, I don’t think we’ll have the movie marquee theme again . . .

Travel and Leisure Magazine votes Charleston #1 (again!)

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The accolades for Charleston as a top travel destination continue to roll in! The readers of Travel and Leisure have voted Charleston as the top destination in the US once again. This time we were selected as #2 worldwide, slightly behind Kyoto, Japan.

Pretty amazing stuff when you see the other cities rounding out the top 10 such as Florence, Siem Riep, New Orleans, etc. And travel experts agree that the T and L readers are a savvy, well-traveled group so Charleston should be proud to be recognized as a world class destination.

And a bit about the photo: It is a new mural outside the Mira Winery offices in downtown Charleston showcasing some of the notable food and beverage players in the area. In the top right, you can see that The Charleston Grill is well represented with portrayals of Chef Michelle Weaver and GM extraordinaire, Mickey Bakst. Kudos to all!