South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) has announced investments in rail capacity to help the Southeast thrive.
The near-dock, rail-served cargo yard – set to open in July 2025 – aims to help speed commodities to market while also increasing port capacity and service.
Norfolk Southern and CSX will both service the intermodal yard, establishing a direct link between SC Ports’ port terminals in Charleston and rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon, as well as markets in the Southeast and Midwest.
The facility will contain 78,000 linear feet of railway track. Six rail-mounted gantry cranes will lift containers onto and off CSX and Norfolk Southern trains.
A dedicated 1-mile drayage road will be utilised to transfer goods to and from the Leatherman Terminal, while a future barge will transport containers between the Leatherman and Wando Welch terminals.
The new rail-served cargo yard, with a 1 million lift capacity and the potential to accommodate more than 14,000-foot trains, will effectively transfer products between the Port of Charleston and interior markets, considerably improving supply chain fluidity and reliability on the US East Coast.
State support of $550 million makes these important infrastructure projects feasible.
SC Ports President and CEO, Barbara Melvin, said: “We are so grateful for our state’s support to ensure we have the capacity and capabilities needed for our customers. Our state’s investment will help port-dependent businesses be successful, which will create jobs in communities around the state.”
SC Ports is also reportedly investing in the expansion of Inland Port Greer, which will allow it to handle longer trains and 50 per cent more cargo. The rail-served inland ports of SC Ports continue to function well month after month.
In November, inland ports Greer and Dillon handled a total of 19,232 containers, a 48 per cent increase over the previous year.
In November, container volumes were reduced, with empty exports driving the year-over-year fall. SC Ports handled 201,314 TEU and 111,025 pier containers, both of which were down approximately 6 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
SC Ports had a very robust November in terms of vehicles, with 21,821 vehicles passing through its docks. Vehicle sales are up 16 per cent year to far.
“As an operating port, we provide high productivity, great service and flexible solutions for our customers in the growing Southeast market,” Melvin added.