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Rail News: Intermodal

South Carolina Ports Authority launches inland port project

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) broke ground yesterday on an inland port in Greer, S.C.

Scheduled to open in September, the South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) will extend the reach of the authority's marine facilities 212 miles inland and help improve the efficiency of international freight movements between the Port of Charleston and companies throughout the Southeast. The $35 million project is part of SCPA's 10-year, $1.3 billion capital plan that includes major investments in new and existing facilities, equipment and information systems. In addition, the state is investing nearly $300 million to fund the construction of Charleston's port deepening project, slated for completion in 2019.

The Greer container terminal will be linked to the Port of Charleston by the Norfolk Southern Railway mainline that provides overnight service between Charleston and upstate South Carolina.

"This project leverages the best capabilities of NS and the SCPA and will provide new, cost-effective, rail-based intermodal solutions that should benefit all of the shippers in the upstate South Carolina region," said NS Vice President of Intermodal and Automotive Marketing Mike McClellan in a prepared statement.

The SCIP will feature two 2,600-foot-long working tracks that link to to NS' mainline, as well as 5,200 feet of storage tracks with room for future expansion. SCPA will dismantle and relocate three rubber-tired gantry cranes from Charleston to the site for stacking containers in the yard, which will have 552 total slots for shipping containers. The port initially will be able to handle about 40,000 containers annually.

The site is located along the Interstate 85 corridor between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, which enables SCPA to provide market access to more than 94 million consumers, according to a press release. The upstate South Carolina area is home to the largest concentration of port users in the state, the authority added.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/5/2013