Carolina Connector terminal comes online as state grapples with supply chain issues
One of the most anticipated infrastructure projects ever in Eastern North Carolina has come to fruition, as the Carolina Connector intermodal rail terminal is now open for business in Rocky Mount.Posted — Updated
One of the most anticipated infrastructure projects ever in Eastern North Carolina has come to fruition, as the Carolina Connector intermodal rail terminal is now open for business in Rocky Mount.
With businesses across the state facing supply chain issues, economic development leaders say the opening couldn’t have come at a better time.
Rail company CSX started operations at the site on October 7 following more than five years of planning and construction.
“They’ve got a lot of truck traffic coming in out there on the site now, and they’ve had some international truck traffic coming from the ports to the site,” Carolinas Gateway Partnership CEO Norris Tolson said. “So it’s going very well.”
The $160 million project consists of three remote-operated cranes that switch shipping containers between trains and trucks.
The head of economic development in Rocky Mount said the CCX would be able to move up to 110,000 units annually, and it should be working at full capacity by the end of the year.
“As we’re now seeing with the supply chain being all jammed up on both coasts, something like the intermodal gets to be increasingly important,” Tolson said.
Tolson told WRAL News the connector came online at a critical moment, opening up new shipping lanes to the Midwest and the Northeast for businesses across the state.
“The supply chain thing is not getting better quickly,” Tolson said. “Everybody now is scrambling to try to get goods to the marketplace, and that’s what Carolina Connector’s all about.”
Since the connector opened, developers said they’ve sold out of building space around the terminal as companies have flocked to the site.
With NCDOT projecting CCX to bring $400 million and 1500 new jobs to the state, local leaders said the state’s supply chain was getting supercharged in the nick of time.
“It’s a big deal for all of North Carolina,” Tolson said. “There’s a misconception about the intermodal that it is a Rocky Mount facility.”
“Well you know it is in Rocky Mount, but it is a North Carolina asset,” Tolson continued.
A spokesperson for CSX told WRAL News the company was in the process of selecting a date to hold a grand opening ceremony to properly celebrate the connector’s launch.
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