By Betsy Finklea
Things are happening at a quick pace at Inland Port Dillon as they near their April 1st target opening date, according to Michael Hoffman, General Manager of Intermodal Operations at the S.C. Ports Authority.
Hoffman was the guest speaker at the Dillon County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Thursday, February 1st.
Hoffman explained that an inland port is a “relatively new concept” and is served by the railroad. They partner with anchor tenants and then add other customers. Harbor Freight Tools is the anchor tenant for Inland Port Dillon. They are seeking other customers such as International Paper and Domtar as well as looking for customers in North Carolina.
Currently, there is a shortage of truck drivers and inland ports help solve part of the problem because they use rail. Hoffman said it is much “greener” because of the efficiency and because of the amount of emissions is greatly reduced by rail.
Hoffman noted there is no union presence and that the South Carolina Ports Authority completely owns and operates the inland port.
The hours for Inland Port Dillon are Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. He said the rail schedule is “pretty tedious.” The entrance to the Inland Port will be at Fairfield Road.
The Inland Port Dillon terminal is served exclusively by CSX. CSX is almost finished with the track work. There is 10,000 feet of working rail track which is twice what they have in Greer.
Inland Port Dillon is a $0 million investment.
The cranes are installed, but not working yet.
They will have the ability to store 7,000 export load and 2,000 empties.
A phase two is planned if the volume grows.
By Betsy Finklea