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A vibrant, diverse and rapidly growing membership vividly illustrates the Maritime Association of South Carolina’s ongoing commitment — and importance — to South Carolina’s maritime transportation and logistics industry sector.

Long known for its important role in the maritime industry, the MASC recently celebrated its 93rd anniversary, a milestone in a proud, productive and proactive history.

Members often credit the MASC for being an important partner in the success of their businesses.

“If you are a part of this industry sector — if you’re part of the supply chain — or if you are in a related business, then the Maritime Association of South Carolina is the trade association you want to be a part of,” MASC President Heather Holmquest said. “It’s a great resource, especially for people opening a business here. I’ve had more of our people tell me they made an important connection or achieved a business development goal because of their affiliation with the MASC.”

With more than 2,000 ships carrying some $60 billion in goods passing through the state’s public and private docks each year, the maritime transportation industry is one of the largest — if not the largest — economic drivers of our state’s economy, Holmquest said. As an umbrella organization that represents every segment of this industry, the Maritime Association of South Carolina is the “FACE” of this vital sector. To accomplish that mission of advancing, encouraging, promoting, increasing and protecting the interests of South Carolina’s ports, MASC:

Fosters relationships among port users, operators, service providers and government partners.

Advocates for legislation that enhances and improves maritime commerce and all associated industries and serves to provide solutions for issues impacting the maritime and logistics community.

Coordinates business networking opportunities for members of the maritime community and associated industries.

Educates the media, public officials and the public about the importance of South Carolina’s ports, related industries and the maritime transportation and logistics sector.

Members of the MASC enjoy many benefits and services, including monthly port operational briefings and membership meetings; bi-monthly luncheons with the State Ports Authority CEO/President; invitations to all MASC events; DASH passes/emergency management information and resources; weekly newsletters; discounted healthcare options for any size company under Association plan; legislative updates and advocacy briefings; certificates of origin; and member discounts via association partnerships.

“We are a conduit, a place where all these people can come together, network, gather information, learn,” Holmquest said.

Most of MASC’s members are based in and around the Charleston area; however, the membership is not only growing regionally, but diversifying by industry sector as well, Holmquest said.

“We are mainly shipping, trucking, rail, warehousing, third-party logistics and port-related service providers, but our membership is growing rapidly,” Holmquest said. “Virtually any business that services or is otherwise connected to our sector can reap major benefits by joining the MASC.” (Credit: Charleston Regional Business Journal)

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