Construction begins on rail-served South Carolina inland port

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

The South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) project in Greer, S.C., which will be linked to the Port of Charleston by Norfolk Southern (NS) mainline that provides overnight service between Charleston and upstate, started construction on March 1.

The site is positioned along the I-85 corridor between Charlotte and Atlanta and it will provide market access to more than 94 million consumers within a one-day drive.

“Norfolk Southern is very excited to work with the SCPA on the South Carolina Inland Port,” said Mike McClellan, vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing for NS. “This project leverages the best capabilities of NS and SCPA and will provide new, cost-effective, rail-based intermodal solutions that should benefit all of the shippers in the upstate South Carolina region.”

The project involves the convergence of four modes of transportation at one site, with the port, rail, truck and the nearby GSP International Airport all handling international commerce for the region’s shippers. By utilizing rail, importers and exporters can maximize tonnage moved per gallon of fuel, providing both environmental benefits and cost savings.

The SCIP will consist of two 2,600-foot working tracks tying to NS’s mainline, as well as 5,200 feet of storage tracks with room for future expansions. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $35 million.

The yard will have 552 total slots for shipping containers and while the initial capacity of the facility is around 40,000 containers annually, the facility could handle as many as 100,000 boxes in five years.

The SCIP is expected to be fully operational by September 1, 2013.

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