South Carolina Ports Authority held a celebration of the success of Inland Port Greer, a critical component of the intermodal container logistics landscape in South Carolina and the Southeast region less than three years after opening in November 2013.
“This is truly a momentous day for the SCPA and Inland Port Greer,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “We celebrate a record volume of almost 9,000 rail container lifts in last month. Such volume annualized means we can achieve 100,000 rail lifts in calendar year 2016, a volume that we originally expected that would only be possible in five years’ time. This facility is firing on all cylinders, with a rich mix of exports, imports and empty container movements for many of the major container shipping lines.”
Early discussions between SCPA and Norfolk Southern began in January 2012 for the development of Inland Port Greer, a facility designed to convert a significant volume of existing containerized truck traffic between Greer and Charleston to rail along as well as create a significant distribution center hub for the area. SCPA broke ground on the 40-acre site in March 2013.
Inland Port Greer uniquely 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. It operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week to serve the just-in-sequence supply chain needs of SCPA’s major customers. Located within 500 miles of 100 million consumers in the Eastern U.S., Greer is an ideal for overnight distribution.
“Today, we also celebrate the significant decision by Dollar Tree to build a major, ‘big box’ distribution center in Cowpens, South Carolina that will be served by Inland Port Greer,” Newsome said. “The first of many containers from Dollar Tree will soon arrive here in Greer, marking further growth for this amazing facility. We feel that many more such facilities can be located in this area as a result.”
Newsome cited the the following critical components for success of an inland port: an existing mainline, intermodal containerized rail service; an anchor client providing a significant cargo base at facility start-up; and a willing local community of elected officials, business partners and neighbors.
“Most importantly, today we recognize the fact that this great facility was only realized through the collaboration of many groups who saw a good idea and helped bring it to fruition,” Newsome said. “I extend our thanks to those parties and give my commitment that the Port will continue to work diligently to realize the full potential of this facility as a catalyst for economic growth in this important region of our state. Going forward, we are excited to build upon the success of Inland Port Greer and consider opportunities for similar projects in other locations in the state and region.”