SC Ports expands rail capacity to boost economy

SC Ports expands rail capacity to boost economy

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) has announced investments in rail capacity through rail partners and state leaders to handle goods for South Carolina’s economy.

Construction of the future Navy Base Intermodal Facility is well underway in North Charleston, according to the port authority. Opening in July 2025, six rail-mounted gantry cranes will aid the rail-served cargo facility to move containers on and off CSX and Norfolk Southern trains.

In Upstate South Carolina, the expansion of Inland Port Greer has already yielded more than 8,000 feet of additional rail track, and the container yard expansion is nearing completion. These terminal enhancements are slated to double Inland Port Greer’s cargo capacity.

While total US container volume declined in 2023, SC Ports’ intermodal volume increased nearly 12 per cent last year, demonstrating a compelling rail product for ocean carriers and cargo owners.

SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon achieved the highest January on record, moving 17,656 containers last month. The inland ports provide direct rail service to and from the Port of Charleston.

Within container terminals at the Port of Charleston, SC Ports handled 208,538 TEU and 115,744 pier containers in January. This is down slightly from last year and reflects softened volumes across the US.

READ: SC Ports witnesses intermodal cargo growth in 2023

“Growing rail capacity in the Port of Charleston will further enhance South Carolina’s competitiveness, ensuring our customers can swiftly move goods to market,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said.

“We move nearly a quarter of our containers by rail today. We look forward to growing this percentage by building critical rail infrastructure and terminal capacity in South Carolina.

“These projects will further support the billions of dollars being invested in South Carolina by port-dependent businesses.”

Earlier this year, SC Ports revealed an annual economic impact of $22.3 billion in the Midlands region each year by moving cargo for port-dependent businesses.

Just recently, the port authority purchased two Konecranes hybrid Rubber-Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes for its Greer inland port in Q4 2023.

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