The South Carolina Ports Authority agreed to join Norfolk Southern Railway in developing an inland port near Greer, S.C., for truck-rail transfer of containers for BMW and other port customers.
The port authority’s board voted to spend up to $25 million on the project, in addition to $1 million authorized previously for engineering work in the site near a BMW auto plant. Norfolk Southern will invest $7.5 million.
BMW alone is expected to ship 20,000 to 25,000 containers a year to the inland port by rail from Charleston, relieving traffic on Interstate 26. Port officials say cargo from other customers is expected to double that volume within the next few years.
The inland terminal is scheduled to open in September 2013.
The port authority acquired 100 acres at Greer in 1982 for possible development as an inland port, but the site has been largely dormant for the last 25 years. The port authority still owns about 30 acres at the site and plans to acquire additional acreage.