South Carolina Ports invests US$550M in rail capabilities to support growth in Southeast, with construction on Navy Base Intermodal Facility underway; near-dock cargo yard to open July 2025, with 78,000 ft of track and six rail-mounted gantry cranes

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina , December 14, 2023 (press release) –

South Carolina Ports is investing in its rail capabilities to further support growth in the Southeast.

More than a year after groundbreaking, construction is well underway at the Navy Base Intermodal Facility.

The near-dock, rail-served cargo yard will help speed goods to market and enhance port capacity and service when it opens in July 2025.

Norfolk Southern and CSX will both serve the intermodal yard, creating a direct connection between SC Ports’ port terminals in Charleston and rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon, as well as to markets in the Southeast and Midwest.

The facility will have 78,000 linear feet of railroad track. Six rail-mounted gantry cranes will move containers on and off CSX and Norfolk Southern trains. A one-mile dedicated drayage road will be used to truck cargo to and from Leatherman Terminal, and a future barge will transport containers between the Leatherman and Wando Welch terminals.

With a 1 million lift capacity and the ability to handle more than 14,000-foot trains, the new rail-served cargo yard will efficiently move goods between the Port of Charleston and inland markets, greatly enhancing supply chain fluidity and reliability on the U.S. East Coast.

These critical infrastructure projects are made possible by $550 million in state funding.

“We are so grateful for our state’s support to ensure we have the capacity and capabilities needed for our customers,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “Our state’s investment will help port-dependent businesses be successful, which will create jobs in communities around the state.”

SC Ports is also investing to expand Inland Port Greer to enable it to handle longer trains and 50% more cargo. SC Ports’ rail-served inland ports continue to perform incredibly well month after month. Inland Ports Greer and Dillon handled a combined 19,232 containers in November, a 48% increase from last year.

Container volumes were tempered in November, with empty exports driving the year-over-year decline. SC Ports handled 201,314 TEUs and 111,025 pier containers, down nearly 6% year-over-year.

SC Ports had a very strong November for vehicles, with 21,821 vehicles rolling across its docks last month. Vehicles are up 16% fiscal-year-to-date.

“As an operating port, we provide high productivity, great service and flexible solutions for our customers in the growing Southeast market,” Melvin said.

South Carolina Ports owns and operates marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon. As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports connects port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond to global markets. SC Ports proactively invests in infrastructure ahead of demand to provide reliable service, efficient operations, cargo capacity, an expansive rail network and the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is a vital economic engine for South Carolina, with port operations supporting 1 in 9 jobs statewide. Learn more:


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