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South Carolina’s Inland Port Dillon sees record month despite Charleston slump

March was a record month at SC Ports' Inland Port Dillon.

Posted on April 24, 2023

South Carolina Ports’ Inland Port Dillon saw its busiest month in March, with more than 4,300 containers handled amid higher agricultural exports and higher imports of retail goods.

That volume is 16% higher than the previous record set in December 2022 and higher than the facility’s 3,664 rail moves handled in February, itself a record for that month.

The facility, which connects the Pee Dee region of South Carolina to the Port of Charleston via eastern U.S. railroad CSX (NASDAQ: CSX), handles imports and exports for companies such as Harbor Freight Tools, International Paper, The Anderson’s and Darling International. The facility also serves the regional agricultural community and businesses such as Performance Ag, Palmetto Grain, Smithfield Grain, Northwest Grains and C&M Hog Farms.

SC Ports celebrated the fifth anniversary of Inland Port Dillon on Tuesday. Inland Port Greer, SC Ports’ first inland port, opened in 2013.

“This was an innovative and cutting-edge idea at the time that few ports in the country were undertaking, but we believed strongly that South Carolina Ports needed rail-served inland ports in South Carolina,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said in a news release. “We wanted to extend the Port of Charleston’s reach inland to better serve our customers.”

In March, Inland Ports Greer and Dillon handled 17,541 rail moves, compared with 16,198 rail moves between the two facilities in February. In March 2022, the inland ports handled 17,413 rail moves combined.

Meanwhile, March volumes at the Port of Charleston were both lower year over year and sequentially.

The terminals at the Port of Charleston handled 193,085 twenty-foot equivalent units in March, down nearly 27% from March 2022’s total of 264,334 TEUs and down 4% from February’s total of 201,418 TEUs.

SC Ports also handled 107,084 pier containers in March, down 26% from March 2022’s total of 145,415 pier containers and down 3.6% from February.

The volume decline at SC Ports comes amid reports of high warehouse inventory levels and lower U.S. imports.


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