Northwest Grains International LLC has broken ground on an agricultural transloading facility at Inland Port Dillon in South Carolina.
The new operation will handle containerised soya beans, lumber, logs, peanuts, cotton, cotton seed and yellow peas for export through the Port of Charleston via rail-served Inland Port Dillon.
The new transloading operation sits next to Inland Port Dillon. Northwest Grains will load crops into containers at its site, and the containers will then be loaded onto CSX trains at Inland Port Dillon for delivery to the Port of Charleston for export to overseas markets.
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said this new investment will provide farmers in the Pee Dee region and throughout South Carolina and North Carolina with better access to global markets.
“We are excited to welcome Northwest Grains International, LLC to South Carolina Ports,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “The company’s decision to invest in Dillon County and use Inland Port Dillon will further support farmers and agricultural business across the Carolinas. We are proud to play a role in supporting agriculture export growth in the Southeast.”
Construction on the site began this month. The operation is scheduled to open in late October, in time for soya bean season. The US$2.5M investment will create five to 10 jobs.
“We found a great partner in South Carolina Ports, which shares in our commitment of providing excellent service and reliable shipping,” said Gary Mao, founder and president of Northwest Grains International.
“Our investment in Dillon County and partnership with SC Ports will enable us to support US farmers by exporting containerised agricultural products. We look forward to our future growth in South Carolina.”
As well as offering exporters greater access to containers, the new operation will provide faster turnaround times for ocean carriers’ containers. SCPA said it anticipates handling 1,000 containers through the facility each year.
“This new facility will support the regional agricultural economy by reducing supply chain costs and swiftly exporting products for farmers,” said Barbara Melvin, chief operating officer of SCPA. “Our team is proud that our efficient operations will directly benefit farmers throughout the Carolinas.”
SCPA opened Inland Port Dillon in 2018 to provide direct rail access to the Port of Charleston. The inland port is designed to enable customers in the Southeast to quickly receive imports and move exports. Port operations generate a US$7.1B economic impact in the Pee Dee region each year, according to a SCPA economic impact study.