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  April 19th, 2018 | Written by

SC Ports Opens Inland Port Dillon

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  • Intermodal rail has increased 180 percent increase since 2011 at the Port of Charleston.
  • Nearly 25 percent of the Port of Charleston's container volume moves by rail.
  • Inland Port Dillon is expected to convert 45,000 container movements from truck to rail in its first year.

The South Carolina Ports Authority held the grand opening of Inland Port Dillon this week. Dillon is SCPA’s second inland facility, constructed to handle strong growth of the port’s intermodal rail cargo volumes and deepen the port’s reach into markets through the Carolinas to the Northeast and Midwest.

Inland Port Dillon utilizes an existing CSX intermodal train service to handle container movement to and from the Port of Charleston’s productive seaport facilities. Inland Port Dillon is expected to convert an estimated 45,000 container movements from truck to rail in the first year of operation.

“Inland ports provide needed infrastructure in the interior of the state to support the movement of freight to and from our marine terminals,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The addition of Inland Port Dillon to the port’s network diversifies our reach and enables port users to gain logistics efficiencies through rail transportation of their cargo. We’ve had tremendous support from the Dillon region to date and look forward to growing our cargo base for the facility.”

“Our ports system is one of the most important driving forces behind South Carolina’s recent economic success, and with the help of the Inland Port Dillon, it always will be,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “With two inland ports and the Port of Charleston soon to be the deepest on the East Coast, South Carolina has strategic advantages that no other state has, and that will continue to pay off for the people of our great state.”

The facility will handle the growing volume of container cargo traveling to and from the Port of Charleston via intermodal rail, which has increased 180 percent increase since 2011. Today, nearly 25 percent of the port’s container volume moves by rail.

“CSX is pleased to be a key link in extending the South Carolina Port Authority’s reach from the Port of Charleston to the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina through establishment of Inland Port Dillon,” said Dean Piacente, CSX Vice President of Intermodal. “We are confident that the inland port will promote economic development in the region and increase the competitiveness of the Port of Charleston and businesses throughout the State of South Carolina. CSX is proud of our role working together with the Port in converting the movement of containers from highway to rail, reducing highway congestion and providing environmental benefits to the citizens of South Carolina while promoting economic growth and commerce.”

SCPA opened its first inland facility, Inland Port Greer, in the Upstate region of South Carolina in November 2013. Inland Port Greer handled a record-breaking 124,817 rail moves in calendar year 2017, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. Inland Port Greer also achieved a fiscal year-to-date record number of rail lifts, with 87,360 moves since July. The facility handled 10,612 rail lifts last month.

“The expansion of SCPA’s footprint into Dillon is a significant project not just for our Port, but the entire state,” said SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. “Inland Port Dillon will provide many advantages to Port customers in the Pee Dee region and beyond, enabling them to move their supplies and finished products with greater efficiency to a global consumer base. It will no doubt serve as a catalyst for economic development, and it is an exciting day to bring such opportunities to this area.”

Inland Port Dillon is located within the Carolinas I-95 Mega Site with close proximity to I-95, a critical transportation artery in the Southeast. The area is central to a significant base of existing port users, including Harbor Freight Tools, that represent base cargo opportunities for the facility.

“Inland Port Dillon is a complement to the capacity and infrastructure investments underway at port facilities in Charleston to accommodate bigger ships and overall growth of our volumes,” Newsome said.

“Inland Port Dillon is a game-changing investment that will shape the future of not only the Pee Dee but all of South Carolina,” said US Senator Lindsey Graham. “Building on the success of Inland Port Greer, this facility will give companies an efficient and cost-effective way to move their products across the state, making the Pee Dee an attractive location for investment, economic development and job creation.”