South Jersey Ports offers on-demand commercial rail service to the Port of Salem with connections to both Class 1 Railroads – Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation. SMS Rail Lines provides the last mile to the port on the 19-mile branch owned by Salem County – which makes the Port of Salem competitive with many ports on the East Coast. Responsive rail service ensures that all the ports in Southern New Jersey serve as an integrated network offering importers and exporters necessary transportation options to move their goods. Freight rail continues to be the modal option to move breakbulk cargo off the port to consuming markets up and down the east coast as well as the mid-west.
In the past decade, $40 million has been invested to upgrade the Salem Rail Line. Cargo that has been handled on this line includes fertilizer products, fresh fruit and produce lumber, and aggregates that have come from both domestic and international points of origin. Rail service for industries in South Jersey and beyond offers better freight costs which strengthen companies’ bottom lines and supports growing jobs in the region. Having reliable rail service also gives companies a reason to look at Salem County as a potential location for their company.
In addition to operating the Port of Salem interconnection, SMS provides rail services to the Pureland Industrial Complex, a 3,000-acre industrial hub in Logan Township that is home to more than 120 companies, including Amazon, and has rail/truck intermodal capabilities to serve New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland markets.
The continuing upgrade of the regional rail lines is key to New Jersey’s plan to grow domestic economic development in the southern tip of the state and strengthen its leadership in the building and support of the $100 billion offshore wind energy industry. The $300 million Wind Port will be located seven miles south of the Port of Salem, providing the opportunity for a rail to barge service for the supply of offshore wind components.