Northwest Grains International, LLC is breaking ground on an agricultural transload operation in Dillon County to serve agricultural producers. The operation will handle containerized soybeans, lumber, logs, peanuts, cotton, cotton seed and yellow peas for export through the Port of Charleston via rail-served Inland Port Dillon.
The new transload operation sits next to Inland Port Dillon. Northwest Grains will load crops into containers at its site, and the containers will then be loaded onto CSX trains at Inland Port Dillon to be efficiently delivered to the Port of Charleston for export to overseas markets.
This investment will provide farmers in the Pee Dee region, as well as farmers throughout South Carolina and North Carolina, better access to global markets.
“We are excited to welcome Northwest Grains International, LLC to South Carolina Ports,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “The company’s decision to invest in Dillon County and use Inland Port Dillon will further support farmers and agricultural business across the Carolinas. We are proud to play a role in supporting agriculture export growth in the Southeast.”
Construction on the site began this month. The operation is scheduled to open in late October, in time for soybean season. The $2.5 million investment will create five to 10 jobs.
“We found a great partner in South Carolina Ports, which shares in our commitment of providing excellent service and reliable shipping,” said Gary Mao, the founder and president of Northwest Grains International, LLC. “Our investment in Dillon County and partnership with SC Ports will enable us to support U.S. farmers by exporting containerized agricultural products. We look forward to our future growth in South Carolina.”
This operation will offer exporters greater access to containers, as well as provide faster turnaround times for ocean carriers’ containers. SC Ports anticipates handling 1,000 containers through the facility each year.
“This new facility will support the regional agricultural economy by reducing supply chain costs and swiftly exporting products for farmers,” SC Ports Chief Operating Officer Barbara Melvin said. “Our team is proud that our efficient operations will directly benefit farmers throughout the Carolinas.”
SC Ports opened Inland Port Dillon in 2018 to provide direct rail access to the Port of Charleston. The inland port enables customers in the Southeast to quickly receive imports and move exports. Port operations generate a $7.1 billion economic impact in the Pee Dee region each year, according to an economic impact study.
Sea News, June 16