The South Carolina Ports Authority is proceeding with plans to develop an inland port in Greer, S.C., to improve the efficiency of international container movements between the Port of Charleston, the South Carolina Upstate region and neighboring states.

The Journal of Commerce reports this week that an agreement has been reached between the South Carolina Ports Authority Board and the Norfolk Southern Railway to begin developing the inland port for truck-rail transfer of containers for BMW and other port customers.

The Journal of Commerce Online goes on to cite that BMW expects to ship by railway from Charleston approximately 20,000 to 25,000 containers to the inland port each year.

The S.C. Ports Authority will bear the brunt of the fiscal responsibilities of the project, with the board approving $25 million and Norfolk Southern investing $7.5 million in the project.

This railway to the inland port is expected to relieve pressure on the I-26 corridor and some other busy roadways.

"The I-26 corridor is a critical transportation artery in the Southeast," said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA. "The development of this facility has the potential, in time, to improve the movement of freight in this corridor by converting 50,000 all-truck container moves to more efficient multimodal moves between the interior and the port. We see it as a game-changer for the port and the state of South Carolina."

"The I-85 corridor, centered on the Greenville/Spartanburg area, is projected to be the fastest-growing part of the Southeast over the next 20 years. This facility will be a further catalyst to the development of an enhanced distribution hub in this area."