SC Ports (copy)

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CHARLESTON — South Carolina Ports CEO Jim Newsome is retiring next year, handing over the running of the docks in Charleston to the first woman to lead a top 10 container port in the United States.

Current Chief Operating Officer Barbara Melvin will take over July 1 when Newsome retires, the authority announced Monday.

Newsome has run the state ports for 12 years. He oversees the huge port in Charleston as well as a smaller terminal in Georgetown and inland facilities to help transport containers and other freight in Dillon and Greer.

The Charleston port is about to finish a project to deepen the harbor to 52 feet (15.8 meters), allowing even the largest ships to get through at low tide.

The board that runs South Carolina Ports unanimously selected Melvin to replace Newsome at Monday’s meeting.

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Melvin has worked for the agency since 1998, rising to chief operating officer three years ago.

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