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South Carolina wins with wine and peanuts

Two projects seek to take advantage of access to the Port of Charleston

South Carolina Ports Authority (SC Ports) this week is celebrating two new projects that will take advantage of the export market through the Port of Charleston. 

The announcements about the new projects follow SC Ports’ proclamation last week that May was a record month for handling containers at the Port of Charleston. May’s volume was 230,870 TEUs, up 36% year-over-year.

Wine and port go together: Gallo

Wine and spirits company E. & J. Gallo Winery plans to build a $423 million production facility and distribution center in Chester County as part of a broader company strategy to establish an export presence on the U.S. East Coast.

The location provides the family-owned, California-based company with access to the Port of Charleston. Construction will begin soon, and Gallo expects the first phase to be completed in October 2022.

Gallo says the new facility and distribution center will create 496 jobs over the next eight years.

“We could not be more appreciative of the collaboration and support shown by the state of South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and those in Chester County, along with all of the public and private entities who have embraced this project throughout the planning process and have welcomed us to the community,” Gallo CEO Ernest J. Gallo said.

Pass the peanuts, please: Northwest Grains International

Meanwhile, Northwest Grains International is building an agricultural transload facility at Inland Port Dillon in Dillon County, SC Ports announced Monday.

The operation will serve agricultural producers in the Carolinas who are seeking to export containerized soybeans, lumber, logs, peanuts, cotton, cotton seed and yellow peas through the Port of Charleston.

Northwest Grains will load crops into containers at its facility next to Inland Port Dillon and then CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) will haul the containers to the Port of Charleston. The company hopes the operation will provide exporters with greater access to containers and provide faster turnaround times for those containers. SC Ports estimates that 1,000 containers annually will be handled through the facility.

Construction on the $2.5 million project began this month and the operation is slated to open in late October, which South Carolina Ports says is in time for soybean harvest season. 

“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.”

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.

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