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South Carolina port in Dillon marks busiest month in history

Christina Lee Knauss //April 19, 2023//

South Carolina port in Dillon marks busiest month in history

Christina Lee Knauss //April 19, 2023//

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Inland Port Dillon recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a record number of containers handled at the rail-served inland port in the Pee Dee region during March.

“What an accomplished five years we have had,” said Barbara Melvin, president and CEO of South Carolina Ports Authority. “It has been amazing to see the growth at Inland Port Dillon, as well as with all the port-dependent businesses in the Pee Dee region that rely on South Carolina Ports.”

The idea for Inland Port Dillon came from seeing the success of South Carolina Ports’ first inland port in Greer, which opened in 2013. The authority invested in its second inland port in Dillon, which opened in 2018 with Harbor Freight Tools as the anchor tenant.

“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,” Melvin said. “We wanted to extend the Port of Charleston’s reach inland to better serve our customers.”

Inland Port Dillon provides importers and exporters with a direct connection to the Port of Charleston via CSX rail. The operation swiftly handles goods for importers like Harbor Freight Tools and exporters like International Paper, The Andersons and Darling International.

Inland Port Dillon also supports agribusiness by connecting farmers to international markets. Customers like Performance Ag, Palmetto Grain, Smithfield Grain, Northwest Grains and C&M Hog Farms move grain and soybeans through the inland port.

“The dedication and skill of our Inland Port Dillon team has created growth in the region,” Melvin said. “Port investments create jobs. When looking at all the companies that are tied to the port, our port operations support more than 25,000 jobs in the Pee Dee region.”

March marked the busiest month in Inland Port Dillon’s history, with more than 4,300 containers handled. This is a 16% increase from the previous record set in December 2022. Inland Ports Greer and Dillon handled 17,541 rail moves combined in March.

South Carolina Ports overall handled 193,085 TEUs and 107,084 pier containers in March, for a total of nearly 2 million TEUs and around 1.09 million pier containers handled fiscal-year-to-date. The ports also handled 15,692 vehicles last month.

“We proudly move freight for South Carolina, and we are equally as proud to be a part of the Dillon community,” Melvin said. “We look forward to more growth here in the years to come.”