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Published: 14 March 2017      

SCPA breaks ground on Dillon

The South Carolina Port Authority has started work on its second inland intermodal terminal.

Located in the "Pee Dee" region of South Carolina, the site for the new Dillon terminal was selected in 2016 for its proximity to I-95 and a significant base of existing Port users. Served by an existing CSX mainline, Dillon provides overnight access to the Port of Charleston.

The new terminal is slated to open in early 2018 to support growing intermodal cargo volumes between the Port of Charleston and markets throughout the Carolinas, Northeast and Midwest.

“Inland Port Dillon will diversify SCPA’s footprint and enable port users to gain logistics efficiencies through rail transportation of their cargo,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “Inland ports provide infrastructure in the interior of the state that supports the movement of freight to and from our marine terminals. Our facilities in Dillon and Greer are important to SCPA’s overall volume growth and the significant amount of cargo that moves today by rail.”

International intermodal rail cargo has been important to the SCPA reversing declines and putting its container business on a growth trajectory in recent years. Rail volumes, said the SCPA, have increased 170% since 2011, with 23% of the Port of Charleston’s containerised import and export volume moving by rail. 

SCPA’s first inland port, Greer, handled a record 103,639 rail lifts last year and the port has high hopes for Dillon. “This is a significant project for SCPA and our entire state,” said SCPA Board Chairman Pat McKinney. “Inland Port Dillon complements the Port’s infrastructure investments in Charleston and will no doubt spur economic development activity both in the Pee Dee area and the surrounding region. Port-related jobs pay 40% higher than the state’s average wage, and it is an exciting day to bring such opportunities to Dillon County.”

Dillon is well located for a number of existing Charleston port customers, and the SCPA expects it to handle at least 45,000 containers annually in the first phase. The terminal will operate with RTGs. 

“We congratulate Inland Port Dillon on this groundbreaking, which is the beginning stage of building a competitive advantage for area businesses by lowering transportation costs and providing greater access to domestic and international markets,” said Dean Piacente, CSX Vice President, Intermodal. “This new facility will build on the state of South Carolina’s already strong freight rail network, supporting continued business growth and job creation.”


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