CHARLESTON, SC — JAN. 18, 2024 — South Carolina Ports’ strategic focus on rail is proving successful as Inland Ports Greer and Dillon both handled a record number of containers in 2023.
Inland Port Greer moved 175,873 containers on and off trains in the Upstate last year, a 26% increase from the previous year. Inland Port Dillon moved 43,266 containers on and off trains in the Pee Dee last year, a 55% increase from the previous year.
The growth at South Carolina’s two rail-served inland ports has driven the percentage of containers moved inland by rail back up to pre-pandemic levels, with 23% of total marine containers travelling by rail during calendar year 2023.
“We are proactively investing in our rail infrastructure to support our customers’ growth,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “The ongoing expansion of Inland Port Greer will double its cargo capacity, and the future Navy Base Intermodal Facility will provide near-dock rail to the Port of Charleston. When that facility opens in July 2025, both CSX and Norfolk Southern will quickly transport goods to and from our inland ports and onto inland markets throughout the Southeast and beyond.”
SC Ports handled nearly 2.5 million TEUs and 1.37 million pier containers in calendar year 2023, down 11% from the year prior and on par with 2019 volumes. Container volumes were impacted by higher interest rates and inflation, which dampened consumer spending and decreased imports to the U.S., especially compared to the retail boom during the pandemic.
While the maritime industry continues to feel the impacts of challenging global situations that are increasing transit times, SC Ports remains focused on providing highly productive, reliable operations to quickly move goods for customers.
“The Southeast remains a bright spot with new investments, business expansions and population growth — all of which demands a reliable supply chain partner,” Melvin said. “South Carolina Ports serves as a powerful gateway to the U.S. Southeast. As an operating port, we provide customized solutions and excellent service to our customers.”
SC Ports also saw strength in other business segments in 2023, with the port handling 204,481 vehicles in 2023, up 3% year-over-year, and more than 302,000 cruise passengers, a 16% increase from 2022.
About South Carolina Ports
South Carolina Ports owns and operates marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon. As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports connects port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond to global markets. SC Ports proactively invests in infrastructure ahead of demand to provide reliable service, efficient operations, cargo capacity, an expansive rail network and the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is a vital economic engine for South Carolina, with port operations supporting 1 in 9 jobs statewide. Learn more: scspa.com.