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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/9/2012

SC Ports Pursuing Inland Port to Improve Efficiency of Freight Movement

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) is pursuing the development of an inland port in Greer, South Carolina, to improve the efficiency of international container movements between the Port of Charleston, the South Carolina Upstate and neighboring states.

The SCPA Board today authorized the negotiation of a preliminary engineering contract with Patrick Engineering that is the first step in bringing this important project to realization. The firm has 13 offices across the U.S. and is partnering with South Carolina firm Davis and Floyd on the engineering work.

The SCPA’s fiscal year 2013 capital plan included approximately $23.5 million in capital spending for this public-private partnership.

In 1982, the SCPA acquired a 100-acre site in Greer for the purposes of building an inland port, but it never gained significant traction and has been largely dormant over the last 25 years.

“The successful growth of intermodal container movements in our state and the region requires the development of state-of-the-art container handling facilities in the interior able to ground loaded and empty containers and leverage the efficiency and sustainability of rail transportation,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA.  “The fact that the port will operate the facility provides an extension of our Charleston facilities into the hinterland, not dissimilar to the development of the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, VA some years ago.”
  
“The I-26 corridor is a critical transportation artery in the Southeast. The development of this facility has the potential, in time, to improve the movement of freight in this corridor by converting 50,000 all-truck container moves to more efficient multimodal moves between the interior and the port. We see it as a game-changer for the port and the state of South Carolina,” said Newsome. “The I-85 corridor, centered on the Greenville/Spartanburg area, is projected to be the fastest-growing part of the Southeast over the next 20 years.  This facility will be a further catalyst to the development of an enhanced distribution hub in this area.”

The engineering study will define the land footprint required to support the facility, the final cost, and key operational aspects and will be performed on a fast-track basis consistent with the aggressive overall timetable for the project.

Upon the receipt of necessary permits, the SCPA intends to seek Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds due to the multimodal characteristics of the project.

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $58 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy.  An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.  For more information, visit www.scspa.com.