Inland Ports

Inland Ports

Timely news, analysis, case studies and videos about inland ports in the US and elsewhere – and their impact on shippers, transportation providers and suppliers of distribution and logistics services. 

Thanks to dramatic improvements in intermodal transportation and logistics technologies, the major distribution processes that formerly needed to be managed at seaports can now be managed – or co-managed – at various locations across the entire supply chain, including at various inland ports, which were long thought of as too distant geographically to play a key role in the global transportation and distribution of valuable goods.

Ordinarily located along Class 1 railroad lines and major road networks, inland ports offer intermodal transfer facilities and international trade processing and other services that may be linked to specific seaports. Distribution centers and other warehousing facilities are generally co-located with inland ports, even on site.

Each emerging full-fledged inland port – such as Houston, Chicago, Kansas City, Fort Worth, St. Louis, Atlanta, Memphis, Columbia (SC), Charlotte (NC), and California’s Inland Empire -- functions as a hub designed to move international shipments more efficiently and effectively from maritime ports inland for distribution elsewhere. 

In the southeast US, port authorities have opened up various inland ports to eliminate multi-hour drays, free up truck capacity and raise driver capacity.

In South Carolina, Inland Port Greer, owned and operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority, is located 212 miles inland from the Port of Charleston. Inland Port Greer offers importers discharging goods at the Port of Charleston access to Norfolk Southern’s intermodal services. Similarly, Inland Port Dillon, 160 miles from Charleston, also linked to the Port of Charleston, provides ready access to CSX Transportation Intermodal train services, which extend into the midwest and northeast US. 

In Georgia, Appalachian Regional Port, 388 miles northwest of Savannah, also provides quick access to CSX Transportation Intermodal. Virginia Inland Port, at Front Royal, Virginia, located 220 miles northwest of the port of Norfolk, provides direct access to Norfolk Southern intermodal services.

For additional content that may be of interest, visit the JOC’s Industrial Real Estate and Distribution Centers sections.





Because freight moves through local, national, continental, and international networks, the federal government must take leadership in solving some of the current supply chain conundrums.

News & Analysis

BMW exports autos through Port of Charleston
01 Apr 2014
South Carolina’s new inland port at Greer will get a big increase in the volume of autos and containers it handles for rail shipment to and from the Port of Charleston over the next couple of years. The leg up will come from the $1 billion investment that BMW announced March 28 to expand production at its automobile plant in nearby Spartanburg over the next two years.
Monterrey, Mexico
19 Mar 2014
The inland port of Monterrey, Mexico, is attracting new shippers, and new customs legislation will allow existing and future tenants to more easily tap foreign trade zone benefits.
29 Jan 2014
President Obama touched on trade, transportation infrastructure, water resources, natural gas fueling networks and trucks in his State of the Union address, pledging to use executive orders to advance his agenda where possible.
Railroad track in winter
17 Jan 2014
The polar vortex didn’t put the U.S. into a deep freeze for long but the widespread chill is still causing transportation problems for shippers, railroads and drayage truckers. Those problems may be contributing to stronger-than-usual business for over-the-road truckers.
23 Sep 2013
When the South Carolina Ports Authority broke ground for an inland port at Greer, S.C., it implemented a strategy that was based upon securing an anchor tenant and linking that exporter to the Port of Charleston with multi-modal transportation options that include short-haul rail.
BNSF inland logistics park, Alliance, Texas.
16 Sep 2013
With consumer demand moderate at best three years after the deepest recession in decades, major U.S. shippers aren’t rushing to add distribution and warehousing space at the clusters of distribution centers around coastal seaports. Momentum appears to be accelerating at inland ports.
16 Sep 2013
Inland ports aren’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Industrial real estate developments anchored by intermodal connections and access to highways are expanding in Mexico and Canada, too.
05 Sep 2013
The high cost of shipping Midwest grain by rail to the West Coast is restricting containerized grain exports to Asia, according to a Cargill executive.
15 Aug 2013
Southeastern shippers are gaining better intermodal services to container terminals at Savannah and Charleston through the development of inland ports.
14 Aug 2013
Agriculture shippers are concerned that they won’t be able to bring their goods to BNSF Railway’s soon-to-open intermodal terminal in the Kansas City area because overweight containers aren't permitted on the road connecting the facility and the nearby interstate.
02 Aug 2013
The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has plans to consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 when Congress returns from its August recess in September...
30 Jul 2013
Gujarat Pipavav Port in India handled 0.143 million 20-foot-equivalent units of container cargo in the second quarter of 2013, increasing 17 percent year-over-year.
High-cube containers are 9 feet 6 inches tall, so stacked one on top of another, the double stack reaches 19 feet over and above the flat wagon height.
22 Jul 2013
Gujarat Pipavav Port, owned by APM Terminals in India, has upgraded its rail infrastructure and is now able to carry double-stack, high-cube containers on trains.
10 Jul 2013
Georgia’s Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia Ports Authority and Cordele Intermodal Services today signed an inland port agreement to ensure a direct 200-mile rail route to and from...
24 Jun 2013
Port Canaveral is pursuing the development of an inland port near the north end of Brevard County, Fla., in conjunction with the start this fall of the widening and deepening of the Florida port’s 3.5 mile channel.
19 Jun 2013
The South Carolina Ports Authority board of directors approved its fiscal year 2014 plan, which includes volume increases across business segments and $123 million in capital spending on a number of projects.
07 Jun 2013
The Port of New York and New Jersey and Norfolk Southern are discussing the possibility of making an intermodal railyard in Bethlehem, Pa., an inland port, The Morning Call reports.
16 May 2013
The Senate's passage of the Water Resources Development Act on Wednesday paves the way for increased investment in ports, and speedier completion of maritime and inland waterway projects. Because the bill is 294 pages and far from a page-turner, The Journal of Commerce decided to break down what the Senate version calls for and what challenges the legislation faces ahead.
14 May 2013
Nordic Cold Storage has reached an agreement with South Carolina State Ports Authority to terminate the lease on its warehouse facility in Greer, S.C., clearing the way for a $43 million inland port to be built in its place.
12 May 2013
Euroports has agreed to sell Euroports Containers Meerhout, which operates the inland container terminal in Meerhout, Belgium, to Inland Terminals.
Steve Signall, chairman of the Tri-City Port Board, and Gary LaGrange, executive director of the Port of New Orleans, shake hands after executing a joint marketing deal.
11 Apr 2013
Officials with America’s Central Port in Illinois and the Port of New Orleans have formalized a marketing agreement to identify and facilitate commercial opportunities between the two ports.
NextLogic will launch at the Port of Rotterdam at the end of 2013.
26 Mar 2013
At the end of 2013, representatives of inland shipping operators, seaport terminals, depots, shipping companies, hinterland terminals, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure...
13 Mar 2013
The South Carolina Ports Authority has revealed that a refrigerated warehouse business that rents part of its property in
30 Nov 2012
The American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council continue to warn the federal government of the detrimental economic effects of further restrictions or possible closure of...
09 Nov 2012
Barge traffic on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., may be restricted or halted in the beginning of December...
08 Nov 2012
North Carolina State Ports Authority today named Jeffrey E. Miles as its new deputy executive director for operations, by Tom Bradshaw, executive director.
BNSF Memphis intermodal facility
26 Oct 2012
Shippers will decide whether to shift their cargo routing from West Coast to East Coast ports when the Panama Canal expansion project is completed in 2015 based on the total delivered cost of the freight, transit time, intermodal options and ease of doing business with port authorities.
24 Oct 2012
INland Logistics Port in Kingsbury is Indiana’s first location to receive CSX Corporation’s Select Site designation.
05 Oct 2012
The Army Corps of Engineers, facing funding cuts for inland waterways and port work, must change how it operates to maintain the nation’s freight networks, according to a National Research Counc
03 Oct 2012
Much like the tows waiting to traverse the locks on the Mississippi River, a strategic plan to improve the inland waterways has seen serious delays.
03 Oct 2012
Although China’s growth has slowed from double-digits down to the high single-digit range, the growth of food consumption is showing no signs of slackening.
24 Sep 2012
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles want to bring owners and users of chassis together to develop an operating model for the Southern California gateway.