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Rail News: Intermodal

South Carolina port pumps up container volume, preps for inland port

The Port of Charleston is registering its strongest fiscal year for container volume in five years, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA).

During the first nine months of its fiscal year, which began July 1, 2012, the port handled 1,160,999 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 10 percent compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year. In March, the port handled 136,877 TEUs, up 1.5 percent versus March 2012 and 13.8 percent versus March 2011.

"We are pleased that our actions to increase volume are bearing fruit. There are a number of deployments of large vessels which should further influence volume, especially on the export side," said SCPA President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Newsome in a press release.

The authority also announced its board approved $12.9 million in additional funding for the South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) that's currently under construction in Greer. The funds will enable the authority to expand the facility's initial capacity from 40,000 container lifts to about 80,000 lifts per year.

The SCIP's design is more than 90 percent complete and the facility now is projected to open in September.

Located 212 miles from the Port of Charleston, the SCIP will convert 25,000 existing truck trips on Interstate 26 to rail, SCPA officials estimate. The facility will be linked to the port via a Norfolk Southern Railway mainline.

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More News from 4/18/2013