South Carolina Port Authority broke ground in March on its $40 million project to build an inland port in Dillon County. The site is located near the Pee Dee and Interstate 95 corridor. Another inland port facility is located in Greer, and serves the Upstate near Interstates 26 and 85. The Inland Port at Dillon will be on 35 acres of land within the Carolinas Interstate 95 Mega site. It is located within a 3,400 acre industrial park located between Dillon and Latta near the North Carolina border. The port has additional acreage for future expansion at this site.
The port will function like a marine port terminal, except that containers will be loaded on a train rather than on ships. CSX will oversee the Dillon inland port and have overnight service to the Port of Charleston. The port in Greer has a similar operation and is overseen by the Norfolk Southern railway with overnight service to the port from the Upstate.
Governor Henry McMaster and Port authority CEO Jim Newsome were at the groundbreaking ceremony along with Dillon officials, state senators and business leaders in the community. “We look around and try to imagine what will come out of this area,… this part of the state, will be transformed interminably. It won’t ever be the same again,” said Senator Hugh Leatherman. “It opens up this part of the state.” Politicians and port authority leaders anticipate more companies relocating near Dillon to take advantage of the rail services to deliver product more quickly to the market, and growth of jobs for the area as a result.
Newsome anticipates that the inland port will boost cargo volumes for the Port of Charleston, and spur economic growth in Dillon County. He believes that the development of this railway infrastructure throughout the state is “the most efficient way to move containerized freight.” He added “it’s something that can serve the Carolinas. North Carolina and South Carolina together have about 18 million people. Import cargo goes where people live and export cargo comes from manufacturing sites, and we have a rich combination of both.” The port authority announced its plans to develop the Dillion County inland port in April 2016, and the initial design phase and permitting have been done. Construction contracts will be awarded soon, and the project is anticipated to be completed in early 2018.
Source: Charleston Business Journal, “Port Authority Breaks Ground on Inland Port in Dillon,” by Liz Segrist, March 13, 2017
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