The South Carolina Ports Authority officially opened its new $50.5 million inland port in Dillon. It is linked to the cargo transfer hub in the state’s Pee Dee region to the Port of Charleston via the CSX Corp. railway line. The new inland port will enable trucks and trains to load and unload thousands of containers filled with consumer products with domestic and foreign destinations to markets. The new Port Dillon will bring economic vitality to an area with high unemployment and poverty rates.
Growth in Dillion, South Carolina
“Inland Port Dillon will be a vital addition to South Carolina’s growing logistics sector, supporting the port’s overall volume growth and serving as a major economic driver of many facets of the industry,” said Micah Mallace, SPA’s director of strategic projects to the Post & Courier.
Dillon is best known for its tourist attraction, “South of the Border.” Once known to have one of the most significant video poker gambling operations. Banned in 1999, this region along the South Carolina and North Carolina border has struggled economically since then. The new inland port expects to reverse the area’s fortunes and bring new businesses to create 1,000 jobs. This includes a $200 million expansion at the Harbor Freight Tools distribution center near the new port.
A recent study showed that Dillon was one of the most cost-effective locations in the state to build a warehouse or distribution center based on an analysis of labor costs, utilities, property values, taxes, and logistics costs. There is plenty of room to grow, with hundreds of acres available in industrial parks that have been underutilized until now.
“With the Dillon inland port…we desperately need the finished product to provide industries looking to locate in the area,” said William Fleming Jr., president, and CEO of Marlboro Development Team, Inc., on the project’s partners.
Logistics in South Carolina
“The study demonstrates to businesses that as the logistics industry continues to grow across the state, there will be an increased need for supplemental infrastructure such as distribution warehousing and that these operations can be executed at a competitive cost,” said Susie Shanon, president, and CEO of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. The council conducted an economic analysis and study of the Pee Dee region.
SOURCE: Post & Courier, “$50.5 million inland South Carolina port opens Monday bringing jobs to a rural area,” by David Wren, April 16, 2018
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