Port to open CSX-served site in Dillon, South Carolina next year
Yesterday South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) announced plans to develop a second inland port in Dillon, South Carolina to support growth of intermodal container volumes and expand access to markets in neighboring states and throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
"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. This is an exciting opportunity for SCPA."
At a meeting yesterday, the SCPA Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Port to move forward with construction of the terminal in the Carolina’s I-95 Mega Site. 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.
Aerial Photography Port of Charleston - Image courtesy: SCPA
"Selective development of inland infrastructure enables freight to move more easily and is critical to the growth of the Port," Newsome said. "We are grateful for the support of our local partners, including Marlboro Electric Cooperative, to make this project possible and are already working with a number of interested companies who are potential customers of 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. We appreciate the involvement and support of the state and federal agencies assisting the Port to make this project a reality."
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.
Comments from the Dillon Region's Elected Leaders
"Inland Port Dillon will expand opportunity and bring industrial diversity to the Pee Dee region and beyond. I'd like to thank the South Carolina Ports Authority for their continued leadership and efforts to advance this project, which will create much-needed jobs and have a huge impact on our economy." - United States Congressman Tom Rice
"Today's announcement is another step forward in ensuring the Port of Charleston is the preferred port on the East Coast. The positive ripple effects on businesses as a result of an inland port in Dillon will drive economic growth around the region. I look forward to seeing the facility strengthen our Port's competitiveness and improve logistics for South Carolina companies." - South Carolina Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., President Pro Tempore and Executive Committee, North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA)
"The opportunity for job creation and economic growth driven by this facility in our region cannot be overstated. This is an extremely significant day for residents of Dillon and surrounding areas, and I applaud the Ports Authority for making this a reality." - South Carolina Senator Kent Williams
"I am pleased with today's announcement on such an important project for the Pee Dee. Providing increased inland infrastructure will create industry growth and provide job opportunities that will be beneficial to the region and the state." - South Carolina Representative Jackie E. "Coach" Hayes
"According to a recent economic impact study, port-related jobs pay 40 percent higher than the statewide average. We are excited that Dillon is the site of the next Inland Port and look forward to building a strong partnership with the South Carolina Ports Authority. Today is a great day for Dillon and our region." - Dillon County Council Chairman T.F. Finklea