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Sept.7, 2015

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SURFACE & DOMESTIC TRANSPORTATION TRUCKING | RAIL | INTERMODAL | AIR & EXPEDITED | DISTRIBUTION THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 47 By Reynolds Hutchins PORTS IN THE Southeast, already among the fastest-growing and most competitive in the U.S., are pushing their battleground inland as they aggressively spread their intermodal rail reach into the hinterland. Coupled with planned development of new facilities divided by just a few hundred miles and a state line, port authorities in Georgia and South Carolina are building on the success of inland ports in their states by drafting plans to build more. The Port of Jacksonville also is considering numerous sites for inland ports in Northeast Florida. And the director of the Virginia Port Authority recently promised to use his inland facility as a template for future ter- minal growth in other corners of the state. Virginia port officials are assessing equip- ment and staffing at the inland port as they consider plans for upgrades. The appeal of inland ports is clear. By establishing a presence near inland ports, shippers can reduce their drayage costs and tap the benefits of logistics clusters such as third-party logistics services and a skilled workforce. In the U.S. Southeast, that appeal is illustrated in the booming success of three individual inland ports in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia, where those ports aren't only successful, but they're also spur- ring interest in new inland port development in the region. "This is the next trend in East Coast distribution, these inland ports," Jim New- some, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, told The Journal of Commerce. "The ports are interested because an inland port can make cargo sticky to your port. The railroads are inter- ested because their coal volumes are down." Newsome's 50-acre South Carolina Inland Port in Greer is a testament to that. In July, Greer reported figures from its first full fiscal year in operation: 58,000 intermodal lifts in the fiscal year ending June 30. In July alone, the port completed approximately 7,500 rail lifts, Newsome said. "It's clearly on pace to do over 70,000 lifts this year," he said. "I said when it opened in 2013 it had the chance to do 100,000 lifts in five years, so we're clearly ahead of pace." SOUTHEAST'S INLAND PUSH Ports in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia look to build on the success of their hinterland facilities

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