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Port in South Carolina invests in rail capacity to boost efficiency and competitiveness

Posted on March 6, 2024

SC Ports is investing in rail capacity throughout the state to efficiently handle goods for South Carolina’s booming economy, with support from state leaders and rail partners.

The construction of the Navy Base Intermodal Facility, which is set to become operational in July 2025 in North Charleston, is progressing well. Equipped with six rail-mounted gantry cranes, the cargo facility will efficiently transport containers on and off the CSX and Norfolk Southern trains.

“Growing rail capacity in the Port of Charleston will further enhance South Carolina’s competitiveness, ensuring our customers can swiftly move goods to market,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said.

In Upstate South Carolina, the expansion of Inland Port Greer has already yielded more than 8,000 feet of additional rail track, and the container yard expansion is nearing completion. These terminal enhancements will double Inland Port Greer’s cargo capacity.

“We move nearly a quarter of our containers by rail today. We look forward to growing this percentage by building critical rail infrastructure and terminal capacity in South Carolina,” Melvin said. “These projects will further support the billions of dollars invested in South Carolina by port-dependent businesses.”

While total US container volume declined in 2023, SC Ports’ intermodal volume increased nearly 12% last year, demonstrating a compelling rail product for ocean carriers and cargo owners.

SC Ports’ RapidRail program expedites containers between ship and train, with imports moving to rail less than 24 hours from actual vessel discharge.

SC Ports’ Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon achieved the highest January on record, moving a combined 17,656 containers last month. The inland ports provide direct rail service to and from the Port of Charleston.

Within SC Ports’ container terminals at the Port of Charleston, SC Ports handled 208,538 TEUs and 115,744 pier containers in January. This is down slightly from last year and reflects the softened volumes across the US.

January was a strong month for the vehicle segment, with 17,614 vehicles rolling across the docks, up 32% year-over-year.


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