South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO Jim Newsome has been named a DC Velocity Logistics Rainmaker — a prestigious accolade that recognizes logistics professionals whose achievements and contributions stand out in the industry.
Newsome is one of eight 2019 Logistics Rainmakers in the country, joining the ranks of some of the most notable and successful thought leaders and experts in the field. He was recognized for his impressive career in logistics, shipping and ports industries.
Newsome, who celebrates his 10-year anniversary as CEO of SCPA in September, is credited with transforming the Port of Charleston into a top-10 U.S. container port and achieving unprecedented cargo growth, including record-breaking volumes in fiscal year 2019.
During his time with SCPA, Newsome has overseen the opening of two inland port operations in South Carolina, modernization of the state’s busiest container terminal in Mount Pleasant, ongoing construction of a new container terminal in North Charleston and the continued work of deepening Charleston Harbor to 52 feet. By 2021, the Port of Charleston will have the deepest harbor on the East Coast.
“Global businesses, both import and export businesses, want to locate near capable ports,” Newsome said in an interview with DC Velocity. “My vision of the Port is to be the preferred port among the top 10 U.S. containerports. We are doing this by providing required port infrastructure in time to handle both anticipated growth and the deployment of big containerships. … We want to make sure our Port offers the highest possible reliability in terms of productivity and efficiency.”
Newsome has also heralded a significant cultural shift within the 700-person maritime agency. He focused on cultivating a strong workforce and ensuring employees live by SCPA’s values of safety and security, adaptability, business-minded thinking, customer-centric focus, decisiveness, enthusiasm and faith in one another. SCPA was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina.
“I have had the good fortune to work for great enterprises that were experiencing significant challenges when I joined them — you might say ‘turnaround’ situations,” Newsome said in the DC Velocity interview. “Developing a committed team of people to successfully address those challenges is what I consider my greatest professional achievement and, along the way, playing the part in the professional development of many of those key people so they could fulfill their career aspirations.”
Before joining SCPA, Newsome served as president of Hapag-Lloyd (America) Inc., which is part of the world’s fifth-largest ocean shipping company. He also held leadership roles with Nedlloyd Lines and Strachan Shipping Co.
Newsome received a bachelor’s degree in transportation and logistics in 1976 and a Master of Business Administration in transportation and logistics in 1977, both from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. He was named the university’s Outstanding Alumnus in Transportation and Logistics in 1992.
University of Tennessee professor Ted Stank said Newsome “defines the term ‘rainmaker.’”
“Jim Newsome has overseen the most complete and thorough overhaul of an organization that I have ever seen,” Stank said in Newsome’s Rainmaker profile. “Key to this transformation has been Jim’s vision of ports as a critical value node in the integrated end-to-end supply chain.”
DC Velocity’s editorial directors and advisory board review nominations and vote on nominees for the annual awards. Since 2003, DC Velocity has recognized more than 200 logistics and supply chain professionals as Rainmakers.