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Dillon approved for second Inland Port, Greer's success was instrumental

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, September 12, 2016

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Greer has had 91,698 rail moves in fiscal year 2016.
 

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Greer has had 91,698 rail moves in fiscal year 2016.

 

The South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA) announced plans to develop a second inland port in Dillon, to support growth of intermodal container volumes and expand access to markets in neighboring states and throughout the Northeast and Midwest.

Greer’s inland port provided instrumental for the second SCPA inland port with its success that celebrates its 3-year anniversary in October.

Greer has had 91,698 rail moves in fiscal year 2016 and is projected to exceed 100,000 in FY 2017. The Greer port will expand in fiscal year 2017 and 2018, growing the site from the existing 36-acres to 70 of the site’s 100 acres.

“I see (Dillon) as a companion project,” Greer Mayor Rick Danner said. “This is a good project for them. The port is in a different place and offers different logistics."

Dillon is located in the Pee Dee region, the northeastern corner of the state. Dillon was selected for its proximity to I-95, a critical transportation artery in the Southeast, as well as a significant base of existing Port users in the area that represent base cargo opportunities for the facility.

“Inland Port Greer has allowed the Port to increase the cargo volumes moved by intermodal rail and become a key catalyst for economic development in the Upstate,” said Pat McKinney, SCPA Board Chairman.

“We are confident that Inland Port Dillon will realize similar benefits for the Port and our customers, increase local business opportunities and provide solid job growth,” McKinney said. “We appreciate the involvement and support of the state and federal agencies assisting the Port to make this project a reality." 

Dillon city and county officials, accompanied by SCPA executives and board members, visited the Greer port in April.

Danner was the first person to recognize the inland port as a “game changer” for the Upstate and commerce throughout the region. “I have contended this would be a game changer and we’re seeing signs that the best is yet to come,” Danner said.

“We are seeing signs of the methodology of logistics and distribution and what changes have yet to occur,” Danner said. “It’s taken a little while, not for us but for the end user.”

“Inland Port Dillon will be a great diversification of our state's logistics footprint,” Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, said at the board meeting. “Building intermodal infrastructure in our state goes hand-in-hand with the significant investment we are making to our port facilities in Charleston. This is an exciting opportunity for SCPA.”

SCPA will break ground on the new terminal in the first quarter of 2017 and plans to open the facility by the end of the year.

"Selective development of inland infrastructure enables freight to move more easily and is critical to the growth of the Port," Newsome said.

The I-95 Mega Site is served by an existing CSX mainline, which provides overnight access to the Port of Charleston. There has been 166 percent growth of SCPA’s intermodal volume since 2011.

Among the customers of the Greer port are adidas, BMW, Dollar Tree, Eastman Chemical and Michelin. Norfolk Southern is the rail line in Greer. 

“Expanding intermodal service in South Carolina through Inland Port Dillon will create a competitive advantage for area businesses by lowering transportation costs and providing greater access to domestic and international markets,” Dean Piacente, CSX Vice President, Intermodal, said. "This new facility will build on the state of South Carolina's already strong freight rail network supporting continued business growth and job creation."

A study of the market potential and proposed terminal layout was completed in April. The Port will now move into the design phase of the project, with the initial terminal build out expected to accommodate 45,000 containers annually.

 

 

 

 

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