DILLON, SOUTH CAROLINA, US — Northwest Grains International, LLC, an exporter of containerized agricultural products in the United States, is breaking ground on a $2.5 million agricultural transload operation in Dillon County, South Carolina, US, 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 Dillon County port is owned by the South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA), and Northwest Grains new transload operation will be located 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 delivered to the Port of Charleston for export to overseas markets, the SCPA said.

“We are excited to welcome Northwest Grains International, LLC to South Carolina Ports,” said Jim Newsome, president and chief executive officer of the SCPA. “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.”

The new transload operation is expected to open in late October in time for soybean season and will create 5 to 10 jobs. Once operational, the SCPA expects the facility to handle 1,000 containers per year.

“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 US farmers by exporting containerized agricultural products. We look forward to our future growth in South Carolina.”

The SCPA 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.