The South Carolina Ports Authority’s cargo volumes fell 4% year over year to 209,494 total TEUs in December, but even with lower volumes, the port is leveraging its strategic focus on rail.
“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,” according to a Jan. 18 release from the port.
There were 28,576 rail moves in December 2023. In comparison, the port processed 26,352 total rail moves in December 2019, according to port data.
South Carolina Ports Authority has several rail infrastructure investments underway.
One investment is the expansion of Inland Port Greer, which will double capacity and enable the port to handle longer trains.
Another is the construction of the Navy Base Intermodal Facility at the Port of Charleston. It is set to have 78,000 linear feet of railroad track, six rail-mounted gantry cranes that will assist in moving containers on and off CSX and Norfolk Southern trains, a one-mile dedicated drayage road to truck cargo, and a future barge to transport containers.
“The inner-harbor barge operation and innovative rail yard will add critical capacity to our port market,” Barbara Melvin, president and CEO of the South Carolina Port Authority, said in an Oct. 17 press release. “These investments will further support our customers’ supply chains and attract additional cargo to our port, supporting job creation throughout South Carolina.”