Greer's future inland port will link the Upstate to the Port of Charleston. Norfolk Southern will transport cargo from Southeast manufacturers and companies by rail across the state. (Photo/Provided)
By Matt Tomsic
Published Dec. 19, 2012
The S.C. State Ports Authority board authorized the port’s CEO and CFO to borrow no more than $30 million to develop, build, operate and maintain the inland port in Greer.
The loan’s rate can’t exceed 5% and should be paid over at most 20 years, the board said at its last meeting of 2012.
The port is moving quickly on its inland port in Greer, ports staff said, and it expects to open Sept. 1. Crews will begin moving earth during the second or third week of January, and the inland port’s design is almost complete.
The ports authority announced plans earlier this year to build the S.C. Inland Port, linking the Port of Charleston to Greer by Norfolk Southern rail. Manufacturers throughout the Upstate and the Southeast are likely to use the facility, Ports authority CEO Jim Newsome previously said.
The inland port will be built within a few miles of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Interstate 85 and BMW Manufacturing. More than 250 acres of private land is available for purchase surrounding these entities, according to a list from several Upstate real estate firms.
The ports authority has acquired about 85% of the property it needs, and most acquisitions have come through land swaps with the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, which is also preparing to develop surrounding land.
The inland port has received great support from business and elected officials in Greenville, staff said.
“I think Jack (Ellenberg) and his team have done a great job,” Newsome said, referring to the ports authority’s senior vice president for economic development.
Port staff also briefed the board on its performance so far during the fiscal year, which started in July. Operating revenues were $57.4 million, a 6% boost compared to the same period last year, and operating earnings increased 10% year over year to $6.6 million. Compared to 2013’s projections, revenues were down by 5%, and earnings were down 18%.
Pier containers were up 10% year over year; pier tons increased 44% year over year; and ships docked increased 8% year over year.