Plans to expand the Greer Inland Port could materialize by next June, as well as plans for the S.C. Port Authority’s second inland port, according to the organization’s CEO and President Jim Newsome today.
Opened in 2013, the Greer Inland Port has exceeded expectations, and is expected to come close to the five-year goal of 100,000 lifts per year, a mere two years after opening, said Newsome. Newsome said the Inland Port could currently handle 120,000 lifts “comfortably,” but the expansion would boost that number to 200,000 per year.
“Capacity is a fluid figure in transportation,” he said, noting that the recently announced $104.4 million Dollar Tree distribution center in the Upstate would add 5,000 units per year alone. “I believe there are more Dollar Trees out there,” he said.
Newsome also said the much-awaited second inland port would likely be in next fiscal year’s budget, but he declined to specify where.
“I have a place in mind for the next inland port,” he said.
Newsome spoke about the authority’s economic impact on the Upstate, estimated at $26.7 billion annually, around 95,000 jobs and more than $10 billion in labor income.
Conducted by research economist Joey Von Nessen at University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, the study estimated that more than half – 50.5 percent – of the authority’s total economic impact was concentrated in the 14-county Upstate region. Comparatively, the S.C. Ports Authority generates a $6.3 billion economic impact in the Lowcountry and 23,000 jobs, or 11.9 percent of the authority’s total statewide impact.
“The Inland Port is firing on all cylinders,” said Newsome, adding that the Inland Port is on track to hit its five-year goal of 100,000 TeU within its first two years of operations.