Plans to develop South Carolina’s second inland port in Dillon were announced by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) in a move that aims to support growth of intermodal container volumes and expand access to markets in neighboring states and throughout the Northeast and Midwest, according to the SCPA.
A resolution authorizing the port to move forward with construction of the terminal in the Carolinas I-95 Mega Site was unanimously approved by the SCPA Board of Directors. 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.
“Inland Port Dillon will be a great diversification of our state's logistics footprint,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “Building intermodal infrastructure in our state goes hand-in-hand with the significant investment we are making to our port facilities in Charleston.”
“Selective development of inland infrastructure enables freight to move more easily and is critical to the growth of the port,” Newsome said, adding that the SCPA is working with local partners, including Marlboro Electric Cooperative, and is already in talks with a number of potential customers for the facility.
Located in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, the site 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.”
The site is served by an existing CSX mainline, which provides overnight access to the Port of Charleston. With 166 percent growth of SCPA’s intermodal volume since 2011, demand for such inland facilities has increased rapidly.
“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,” said Dean Piacente, CSX Vice President, Intermodal. “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 since the SCPA first announced its consideration of the Dillon site 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.