April 29, 2021

SC Ports expanding Inland Port Greer

CHARLESTON, SC — APRIL 29, 2021 — South Carolina Ports is expanding Inland Port Greer on the heels of sustained record activity at the rail-served inland port in Upstate South Carolina.

Inland Port Greer extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland via Norfolk Southern rail service, enabling companies throughout the Southeast and Midwest to quickly receive import goods and move export products to overseas markets.

Inland Port Greer operates 24/7 and offers a direct rail connection to the Port of Charleston. Situated along Interstate 85 between Greenville, S.C., and Spartanburg S.C., Inland Port Greer reaches 94 million consumers within 500 miles, or a one-day truck trip.

The expansion of Inland Port Greer is supported, in part, by a $25 million BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the BUILD grant to the S.C. Department of Transportation to help fund the Upstate Express Corridor Program, which includes both the expansion of SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer and the lengthening of Norfolk Southern’s Greer Lead Track and Carlisle Siding Track.

“We are very appreciative of the support we received from S.C. Governor Henry McMaster, our Congressional delegation, state leaders, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the S.C. Department of Transportation in securing this BUILD grant to expand this critical port-related infrastructure,” SC Ports Board Chairman Bill Stern. “This will greatly enhance South Carolina’s supply chain for companies in the Upstate and beyond.”

The expansion of Inland Port Greer involves building additional rail processing and storage tracks within the terminal, expanding the container yard to the east and west, enlarging the existing chassis yard, and building new facilities for heavy lift maintenance and terminal operations.

More than half of SC Ports' $63.4 billion annual economic impact in South Carolina already occurs in the Upstate. Investing to expand Inland Port Greer will drive more port-related growth in the region. The additional capacity means more companies will locate near this critical infrastructure hub, driving jobs and economic growth for the Upstate.

“This funding supports the expansion of Inland Port Greer, which has been a true success story for South Carolina, growing significantly every year since opening,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “We continue to invest in port infrastructure to handle more cargo for companies. Our strategic investments provide more capacity and efficiency, which attracts more companies to invest in our state.”

The BUILD grant also supports the expansion of Norfolk Southern’s Upstate rail network. These improvements include lengthening the lead track alongside the mainline track outside of Inland Port Greer in Greer, S.C., as well as providing additional capacity to the passing/ siding track in Carlisle, S.C., to accommodate longer trains carrying cargo to and from the Port of Charleston.

These complementary efforts will allow for additional container capacity for customers at Inland Port Greer, and additional rail infrastructure to enhance rail capacity and efficiency.

“The Upstate Express Corridor will greatly enhance South Carolina’s rail infrastructure and supply chain,” said Kathleen Smith, Norfolk Southern’s vice president of business development and real estate. “The BUILD grant supports these vital infrastructure projects, providing more economic growth for the state.”

Since opening in 2013 with BMW Manufacturing Co. as the launch customer, Inland Port Greer has consistently broken records for cargo handled. In March, Inland Port Greer reported its busiest month in history with 16,688 rail moves, up 20.3% from last March. Fiscal-year-to-date, Inland Port Greer has handled 119,460 rail moves, up nearly 5% from the same time a year prior.

“BMW Manufacturing’s success as the largest automotive exporter by value in the United States would not be possible without our strong relationship with SC Ports,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “We export 70 percent of our South Carolina-made vehicles through the Port of Charleston to 125 countries around the world. BMW was also the first customer for SC Ports’ rail-served Inland Port Greer in 2013. Inland Port Greer has proved incredibly beneficial to our supply chain. We depend on reliability and speed to produce every car to order, and SC Ports continues to deliver for BMW.”

Norfolk Southern rail connects Inland Port Greer to the Port of Charleston. (Photo/SCPA/Craig Lee)

Quotes from elected leaders and partners

“Investments in the Charleston Harbor deepening and growth of the Port of Charleston to handle bigger ships have been game-changers for our state. This growth requires an expansion of our inland port in Greer to handle more cargo moving through our state. Additional capacity at the inland port will bring even more investment and jobs to the Upstate. I’m proud to have supported these important projects for the future of South Carolina.” — U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

“SC Ports is a major economic driver for our region, with more than half of its $63.4 billion annual economic impact occurring in the Upstate. Many companies, such as BMW Manufacturing Co. and Michelin, depend on SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer to handle their imports and exports. The expansion of Inland Port Greer will further enhance our supply chain, prompting more companies to invest in our region and creating more economic prosperity throughout the Upstate.” — Congressman William Timmons (SC-04)

“Inland Port Greer is an economic driver for Upstate South Carolina, providing our companies with a direct connection to the Port of Charleston. SC Ports provides a strong, reliable supply chain for Upstate businesses, and this expansion of Inland Port Greer will further support job growth and economic benefits in our communities.” — S.C. Senator Scott Talley

“Our businesses need a strong supply chain they can rely on to get the parts and materials they need, as well as the ability to move goods to market. SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer provides that service to our companies. I look forward to the future growth that this expansion will bring to our region. When SC Ports is successful, it directly benefits the Upstate.” — S.C. Representative Rita Allison

“Investing in Inland Port Greer is an important endeavor as many of Spartanburg County’s companies depend on the rail-served inland port to do business. This project will enhance Spartanburg County’s ability to quickly move goods through the supply chain. We are excited to see future growth from this investment.” — Spartanburg County Council Chairman A. Manning Lynch

“The city of Greer is proud to be home to BMW Manufacturing Co. and SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer. It has been amazing to watch them both grow so significantly and partner over the years. This expansion of Inland Port Greer will attract more business growth to our city and provide more economic opportunities for our citizens.” — Greer Mayor Rick Danner

“We have seen this year how incredibly important it is to have a strong supply chain. SC Ports continues to invest in its infrastructure — by enhancing Wando Welch Terminal, building the Leatherman Terminal, and now, by expanding Inland Port Greer. This additional capacity enables SC Ports to swiftly handle more goods for Upstate companies, which ultimately drives jobs, investments and growth for our 10-county region.” — Upstate SC Alliance President and CEO John Lummus

“The expansion of Inland Port Greer will benefit the advanced manufacturers, retail distribution centers and many other businesses that depend on SC Ports for their operations. We are excited to see Spartanburg County’s supply chain strengthened through this project, in support of our companies and our economy.” — OneSpartanburg Inc.’s Chief Economic Development Officer Katherine O’Neill

About South Carolina Ports Authority

South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Please visit www.scspa.com to learn more about SC Ports.