The City of Greer-some 200 miles from the Atlantic Ocean-may seem like a strange place to find a port. But the newly-opened Inland Port has already become an economic engine in the state, creating jobs, reducing pollution and connecting regions for a stronger South Carolina.
The idea for the port in Greer was born when global trade in the Port of Charleston began to pick up speed after years of deep recession. Officials with the South Carolina Ports Authority were thrilled with the increased traffic but worried about overcrowding in Charleston, as well as the negative impact on state highways and the environment. Located on both the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Interstate 85, Greer was the ideal location for the state's first inland port.
City officials acted quickly and committed to the port, knowing it would be an economic boon for Greer, as well as the Upstate region as a whole. With a $3.5 million loan, the City of Greer and the Greer Commissions of Public Works designed and will build a substation to provide electricity to the Inland Port and to serve additional industrial customers as the area around the port grows.
City building officials expedited reviewing plans, processing permits and performing inspections to keep the project on track. City employees used iPads to conveniently review the latest set of approved plans during site visits.
Many state and private entities contributed to the massive project, which resulted in a 400,000 square-foot warehouse and 300 new jobs. The City of Greer greatly expanded its tax base by annexing the Inland Port property. The port has also benefited the entire state by removing an estimated 25,000 trucks from the road annually, which means less fuel being burned and less wear and tear on the state's highways.
Seven months after breaking ground, the Inland Port offloaded its first cargo because of the swift work of city officials from Greer.